Two Factor Authentication

Two Factor Authentication

Passwords like “123456”, “password” or “abc123” are a security department’s worst nightmare, but still make up the TOP 3 of most common passwords. Despite the emphasis on strong passwords, it remains a challenge not only to create them, but also to remember them. As a consequence, the same strong password is usually used for several applications or written down on a sticky note, closely guarded under the laptop, causing severe security risks.

Two-factor authentication is a more secure method of verifying your identity using two separate factors. With password-based authentication stealing the victim’s password is enough to provide the thief access to all his information. Two-factor authentication can drastically reduce the incidence of online identity theft, phishing expeditions, and other online fraud, because even with one factor a hacker still wouldn’t be able to access the data.

The three most common categories are often described as

  • Knowledge factor: something you know, such as a personal identification number (PIN) or password
  • Possession factor: something you have, such as an ATM card, phone or token (E.g. Keychain model)
  • Inherence factor: something you are, such as a biometric like a fingerprint or iris scan

Two-factor authentication solutions use one-time password technology to secure user login and ensure only authenticated users gain access. This technology is not limiting for employees, but strengthens the company’s security while keeping the same overall flexibility. The combination of technologies, for example a physical token with SMS authentication as back-up, can ensure secure access to business applications anywhere, anyhow.

But in the current digital age more authentication issues arise. What about those users you don’t manage? Or you simply don’t know? Web shops wanting to offer their clients not only the best but also a secure customer experience? How about application developers concerned about their reputation? Identity proofing is the answer to protecting online accounts and services by adding an additional security layer. With the current digital trends we will undeniably see a major rise in this part of Two Factor Authentication.