Two Factor Authentication: It’s and Will Always Be Important

Using just a single authentication factor, i.e. secret password, in the login procedure leaves valuable online accounts, sensitive data and information of the authentic end users vulnerable to security threats. Taking this weakness of using password-alone protection into consideration, it is better to opt for an additional factor to ensure optimum security of your precious digital assets. Two Factor Authentication is the best and proven method that strengthens the weakness of password-alone protection, and secures your online accounts from every security breach.

What this method is and how it works?

Two Factor Authentication, or simply 2FA, is a security method that requires an additional factor; unique verification code, along with secret password in the login procedure to verify identity of the user. 2FA method provides a top-level security to the online accounts and data of the end users. Due to the use of two different factors; secret password and unique verification code, 2FA is also known as Two Step Verification.

Traditional authentication method of logging into an online account or website requires only a username and password combination. But, Two Factor Authentication security method requires you to provide a second form of validation, i.e. a verification code, to gain access. The unique verification code or OTP (One Time Password) is sent to the registered mobile phone of the user after every login attempt, and is valid only for a few seconds.

This additional validation comes in following three forms:

  • Something the user knows (the knowledge factors) – username, password, PIN.
  • Something the user has (the possession factors) – credit & debit card, mobile phone.
  • Something the user is (the inherence factors) – biometrics like iris, retina, face scan, voice recognition, fingerprint.

What does 2FA secure?

Two Factor Authentication secures all online accounts, remote access to the web applications, online checkpoints, payment gateway, etc. from different malicious activities that occur over the internet.

Possible ways that Two Factor Authentication can increase security are:

  • 2FA reduces vulnerability after a security breach. The online accounts remain protected due to the required second form of verification in the login procedure.
  • Receiving unique verification code on your mobile device warns you that someone else has attempted to log in to your online account with valid username and password combination.
  • With 2FA, your digital assets are least likely to be compromised. Traditional login credentials, i.e. secret password, can be easily hacked by the hackers, but Two Factor Authentication security method relies on something only the authentic end user has.

Conclusion

The importance of Two Factor Authentication security method is increasing rapidly with the increase of malicious attacks over the internet. The end users around the globe must enable this method on all their online accounts for better security.

Two Factor Authentication – “Enable It, Secure Accounts”

The online accounts of the authentic end users worldwide are increasingly getting vulnerable to hacking and other malicious attacks. It is because the hackers use the advanced cryptographic techniques/methods to steal your secret password and gain access to your online account. Password, being a single layer of protection, is no longer strong enough in today’s scenario to secure your valuable online accounts and sensitive data from getting compromised. Therefore, it has become must for all the end users to use an additional protection layer along with the secret password in the login process. The benefit of adding extra layer is that if the secret password gets compromised, then the second layer will protect online accounts of the end users from all sorts of security breaches. Two Factor Authentication is an ideal option that secures accounts.

Definition

Two Factor Authentication (2FA), also known as Two Step Verification, is an authentication mechanism that adds an extra security layer in the normal login procedure to verify identity of the user who is logging in to the account. 2FA security method requires two different factors; secret password and a unique verification code or OTP (One Time Passcode), to verify whether the user is authentic or not. The unique verification code is sent to the registered mobile device of the user immediately after entering the correct username and password combination, and is valid only for a few seconds.

Two Factor Authentication security method verifies your identity by requiring both ‘something you know’ and ‘something you have’ when you log in to your account. The thing you need to know is username and a password or a PIN, and the thing you need to have is a mobile phone or any other device that can receive OTP generated by 2FA app.

Different authentication factors for verifying the end users’ identity

Below are the different types of authentication factors:

The knowledge factors (something you know) – username, password, a secret PIN.

The possession factors (something you have) – credit & debit card, mobile phone or any other device.

The inherence factors (something you are) – biometrics like iris, retina, face scan, fingerprint, voice recognition.

Time and Location factors – geographic location.

2FA security method combines any two of the above-listed authentication factors, especially ‘something you know’ and ‘something you have’.

One of the most common examples of Two Factor Authentication security method is cash withdrawal through an ATM using your credit/debit card. For withdrawing cash successfully, you enter card; something you have, and a secret 4-digit PIN; something you know. Without the availability of both card and PIN, cash withdrawal is impossible even if you are a real owner of the card. With 2FA, if someone else hacks your secret password, then he needs access to your registered mobile device as well for receiving unique verification code and logging in to the account. In this way, Two Factor Authentication secures your precious digital assets from all sorts of security breaches.

Conclusion

2FA greatly increases your valuable online accounts, sensitive data and information security, and is the single most effective security measure after using highly complex passwords. That’s why it can be concluded that all the authentic end users worldwide must enable Two Factor Authentication security method for a better account security.