What is a Single-Factor Authentication in Information Security?

An authentication factor is a specific element of security credential that can be used to check the identity and authorization of a user trying to gain access, send connection, or request information from a secured network, system or software.

Each authentication factor defines an element of security controls of the equal type. Within each element, security analysts can design or select a feature that fits their needs in terms of accessibility, cost, content of implementation, etc.

It can be increasing the multiple authentication elements needed to access a system can create the login procedure more cumbersome, and can produce increased numbers of client requests for assistance accessing the system. Still, the authentication process provides to ensure that only authorized users can approach the network or application.

Single-factor authentication is the easiest method of authentication. It can only requires a username and password to enable a user to access a system. Single-factor authentication (SFA) is a procedure for securing access to a given system, including a network or website that recognizes the party requesting access through only one element of credentials.

An instance of single factor authentication is password-based authentication. Password security depends on the diligence of the system management or user who start the account. It involves generating a strong password and providing that no one can access it.

Single-Factor Authentication (SFA) is an identity verification process that needed the access-requesting party (can be a person, application or device) to create to the authenticating party a single identifier that is connected to its identity. SFA can be used by default in some systems because it is simply and cheap to perform.

The most outstanding single factor identifier is the password. There are some identifiers generally used such as SMS-code to a registered mobile device, one-time password (OTP) generated by a physical device or by application running on a mobile device or computer.

SFA is considered less protected than MFA. It is particularly when the identifier is a vulnerable password. One of the endorsement any cybersecurity professional will provide is to prevent reusing passwords across multiple accounts.

However, when users should support long and complex passwords across multiple accounts, they influence to reuse their passwords verbatim or with small alterations.

Systems secured by single factor authentication have one identifier standing among an attacker and access to the system. The security of the system is vulnerable on how simply it is to steal or produce the identifier.

Passwords, which have been used for several years and on some systems as the single factor of authentication, have allowed to be accessible to both theft and forgery (such as brute force attacks, dictionary attacks, etc.)

Updated on: 10-Mar-2022


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