How does multi-factor authentication work?

Multi-factor authentication (MFA) is a security procedure that needs users to respond to requests to check their identities before they can access networks or other online software. MFA can use knowledge, possession of physical elements, or geographic or network areas to validate identity.

An instance of Multi-factor authentication is the procedure for utilizing an ATM at a bank. It can gain access to their accounts, users should insert a bank card (a physical element) and enter a PIN (a knowledge element).

Another popular instance is the time-based one-time password (TOTP) method, used by monetary institutions and other large organization to secure workflows, software, and accounts. Upon requesting login, users are asked to support a temporary passcode that has been sent through a text message, phone call, or email.

MFA needed means of verification that unauthorized users cannot have. Because passwords are not enough for checking identity, MFA needed several pieces of evidence to check identity.

The familiar variant of MFA is two-factor authentication (2FA). The theory is that even if threat actors can act like a user with one element of evidence, they cannot be able to support two or more.

Proper multi-factor authentication needs factors from partly two multiple elements. By utilizing two from the similar element does not fulfil the goals of MFA. Despite broad use of the password/security question set, both factors are from the knowledge element and don't certify as MFA.

A password and a temporary passcode certify because the passcode is a possession element, checking ownership of a definite email account or mobile device. Multifactor authentication introduces a more step or two during the login procedure, but it is not complex.

The security industry is making solutions to streamline the MFA procedure, and authentication technology is becoming more perceptive as it can develop. For example, biometric factors like fingerprints and face scans provide quick, dependable logins.

There are new technologies that leverage mobile device features such as GPS, cameras, and microphones as authentication element that promise to more enhance the identity verification procedure. Simple approach like push notifications only needed an individual tap to a user's smart phone or smart watch to check their identity.

Some operating systems, service providers, and account-based platforms have included MFA into their security set up. For single users or small businesses, utilizing MFA is as simple as going to settings for operating framework, internet platforms, and service providers and allowing the features.

MFA is a security improvement, while SSO is a system for enhancing productivity by enabling users to use one set of login credentials to access several systems and applications that previously can have each needed their own logins.

Multi-factor authentication (MFA) need several technologies to authenticate a user's identity. In contrast, single factor authentication (or simply “authentication”) needs a single technology to validate the user’s authenticity. With MFA, users should combine verification technologies from partly two multiple set or authentication factors.

Updated on: 10-Mar-2022


Kickstart Your Career

Get certified by completing the course

Get Started