Two-factor authentication: what it is and how to enable it

Any other online account is prone to attack by cybercriminals and data theft. Various breaches have happened in the past and continue to happen. Digitals accounts have become the magnets for criminals with the increased use of mobile and laptops. It is no surprise that even government accounts are being hacked. The day-to-day breaches of company and individual accounts have become highly common. The sad part is there are no signs that account hacks, data hacks, and other forms of criminal activities are going to slow down any time soon. The daily breaches can be reduced to an extent with an additional layer of protection using two-factor authentication. This post briefs about 2FA and how it can be enabled?

What is Two-Factor Authentication?

Two-factor authentication or two-step verification or dual-factor authentication is a method of security that requires the user to offer two different authentication factors to verify while entering the online account. First, the user will log in using their username and password. Once entered, immediate access to the account will not be granted with 2FA in place. The user has to provide another piece of information to prove that they are who they actually are. The second piece of information that is required during authentication can be any of the following:

  • Something you possess or possession factor: In this category, the user’s possession such as a credit card, a smartphone, or any hardware token is taken into account.
  • Something you are or an otp factor: This is the advanced type of 2FA that might include a fingerprint scan, iris scan, or voice recognition.
  • Something you know or knowledge factor: This could be a personal identification number, a password, or any specific key pattern that only the user knows.

With 2-factor authentication enabled, the compromise of a password alone won’t allow the entry of a hacker or a cybercriminal. Even if your phone gets stolen or lost, or password is stolen, no one else can gain access to your account without the second-factor information. Stealing the second factor is highly unlikely; hence your account remains safe from the hands of hackers.

How does two-factor authentication work?

The method to enable two-factor authentication differs based on the application or the vendor. However, irrespective of the vendor, the working process of two-factor authentication remains the same.

  • First, the user must enter their credentials like username and password to gain access into the account
  • This is often what the user knows. After the password and username are entered, the site finds the server with the same credentials and identifies the user.
  • In case a password is not required, the website creates a unique security key. The authentication tool will analyze the key for server validation.
  • The site then asks the user to start the second step of login. There are various forms of the second step like a security token, an ID card, a smartphone, otp received on a smartphone of the registered user. The possession or inherence factor is often used.
  • The user must enter the OTP generated during the second step.
  • Once the user provides both the factors, the user is provided entry into the app or the website.

Multi Factor authentication

Finacus offers a multi-pronged 2FA solution based on the following two factors:

  • Knowledge factor: Something known only by the customer
  • Possession factor: Something owned only by the customer

Bottom line

It is not late to adapt the best multifactor authentication system from the top-notch digital 2fa provider of India. For further information contact Finacus.

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