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Two-Factor Authentication 2FA

Today's businesses need to provide a frictionless experience to their online users, as well as ensuring the security of the business networks.  Unfortunately, most companies still rely on using username and passwords as their only means of authenticating customers.  Username and passwords are often forgotten and can be easily stolen or compromised by cybercriminals.  Two-factor authentication offers an additional layer of security to help protect your customer accounts and your business.

What Is Two-Factor Authentication 2FA?

Two-factor authentication is a security method that requires two types of credentials for authentication and is designed to provide an additional layer of security to help prevent fraud and unauthorized access to private information of companies and individuals.

Two-factor authentication (2FA) is often used to compensate for the weakness of passwords. Although 2FA enhances the authentication process, it leaves some problems unresolved and creates others.

In most implementations, two-factor authentication (2FA) pairs a token or one-time password (OTP) alongside a traditional password. The token is generated by the application or a fob, or sent to the user’s mobile phone. The token entered by the user is compared with the token generated by the app. If the tokens are identical, the user is granted access.

How Does Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) Work?

Two-factor authentication (2FA) is more secure than a one-time password (OTP), but 2FA does have drawbacks.

  1. Two-factor authentication relies on symmetric key cryptography, which uses the same keys for encryption and decryption. This approach doesn’t adequately secure the shared secret. If the user’s device or the app is compromised, the attacker can obtain and use the shared secret to generate his own token. Further, a token may be intercepted when it’s delivered to the mobile app for use.
  2. Two-factor authentication affects the user experience. OTP's expire quickly and aren’t always received on mobile devices in near real time. 

What Is The Difference Between Two Factor Authentication & MultiFactor Authentication?

Watch the short video below to learn more about the differences between two-factor authentication and multifactor authentication.

Two-factor authentication is often referred to as strong authentication, 2 factor authentication, 2 step authentication, 2 step verification, 2FA, dual factor authentication and 2 FA authentication.

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The three primary types of authentication factors are:

  1. Knowledge Factors: A knowledge factor is something that the user knows such as: a password, a challenge question, or a personal identification number (PIN).
  2. Possession Factors: A possession factor is something that the user possesses such as: a physical device, such as a security token or smartphone.
  3. Inherence Factors: An inherence factor utilizes a physical characteristic that inherently represents a unique user such as: fingerprint, facial recognition, or voice recognition.  

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