How does two-factor authentication work?

The two-factor authentication method is an authentication procedure that requires a more authentication step in addition to having a strong password such as push notification, a security inbestigation, or a SMS code sent to a trusted device.

User help the internet to sign up for social media accounts such as Facebook. It can create an email account, use for car loans, log into their doctor’s patient portal to create appointments, even flow the game on Sunday.

2FA is a subset of multi-factor authentication. An electronic authentication method that needed a user to prove their identity in several methods before they are enabled access to an account. Two-factor authentication is termed because it required a group of two factors, whereas multi-factor authentication can require more.

Two-factor authentication required a password (the first factor) then a second factor like a mathematical program, push notification, security question, security token or a biometric such as fingerprint or facial recognition (the second factor) from an authenticator app to access online information. It is also called a two-step verification or dual-factor authentication.

The 2FA authentication process validates both group of user credentials before permitting access to an online account. An instance of two-factor authentication in the real world is an ATM card.

In addition to physically presenting the card, it also require to type in the PIN to access the account. Two-factor authentication needed one more step and a second factor to log onto a site or access an online account. Commonly, it can first enter the username and password.

The site generally then sends a text message to the mobile phone with a six-digit mathematical code. This code is known as authenticator, or frequently a passcode or verification code.

It can only access the site by entering this code that occurs on the mobile device. If it doesn't have the code, and it can't log on, even if it can understand the exact password.

Two-factor authentication (2FA) is the bottom component of a zero trust security model. It can secure sensitive data, and it should test that the users attempting to access that data are who they say they are.

2FA is an efficient approach to secure against some security threats that target user passwords and accounts, including phishing, brute-force attacks, credential exploitation, etc.

There are three traditional authentication factor categories that authentication processes can use to check identity are as follows −

  • Something you know − A secret identifier including a password or a one-time PIN (OTP).

  • Something you have − A physical identifier through control of something tangible (including a mobile device with an authentication app, common access card (CAC), security job or token).

  • Something you are − A physical identifiers of the biological form including fingerprints, facial scans and new biometrics.