What is a Two-Factor Authentication in Information Security?

Two-factor authentication (2FA) a type of multi-factor authentication (MFA). It is an approach of creating access to an online account or computer system that needed the user to support two multiple types of information.

It is a security procedure that cross-verifies users with two several forms of identification, most frequently knowledge of an email address and authentication of ownership of a mobile phone.

Two factor authentication has become an important information security tool because it mitigates the risk related to negotiated login credentials. If a password is hacked, guessed, or even estimated, 2FA avoids an attacker from gaining access without authorization by a second factor.

2FA is generally employed in online investment websites, social media platforms and e-commerce sites as a method to harden access controls to the more sensitive locations of a web application including admin panels or areas that store credit elements and personal information.

Two-factor authentication also allows businesses and public institutions to be more productive and effective enabling employees to perform remote services with far less security business.

In two-factor Authentication, it is two-level security. Therefore, it is required twostep verification to authenticate a user. It does not needed only a username and password but also require the unique data that only the specific user knows, including first school name, a favorite destination.

Apart from this, it can also check the user by sending the OTP or a unique connection on the user's registered number or email address. Two-factor authentication (2FA) is the bottom component of a zero trust security model. It can secure sensitive data, and it should check that the users attempting to access that data.

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

SMS-based 2FA connects directly with a user’s phone. After receiving a username and password, the site address the user with a unique one-time passcode (OTP) through text message.

Like the hardware token phase, a user should then enter the OTP back into the software before getting access. Similarly, voice-based two-factor authentication automatically dials a user and verbally transfer the 2FA code.

The most famous form of two-factor authentication uses an application-generated time-based, one-time passcode also known as TOTP, or soft-token. First, a user should download and set up a free 2FA application on their smartphone or desktop. They can need the app with any site that provide this type of authentication.

At sign-in, the user first enters a username and password, and therefore, when prompted, they enter the code display on the application. Like hardware tokens, the soft-token is generally true for less than a minute and because the code is produced and displayed on the similar device, soft-tokens delete the chance of hacker interception.

Updated on: 10-Mar-2022


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