Control access to sensitive data through two-factor authentication

Two-factor authentication or 2FA is generally referred as two-step authentication. It is a security method in which the user gives two authentication attributes. 2FA can be compared with single-factor authentication or SFA, a security method in which the user gives only one factor, i.e., usually a password.

Two factor authentication gives an extra layer of safety and makes it difficult for attackers to get access to an individual’s devices and online user accounts as finding out the individual’s password only is not sufficient to pass the verification check. Two-factor authentication has long been employed to manage access to responsive systems and information, and online services are growingly initiating 2FA to stop their users’ information from being seen by hackers who have robbed a password list or employed phishing campaigns to get users’ passwords.

The methods by which somebody can be verified generally come under three sections known as the authentication factors, which involve:

1. Information factors — something the user understands like a password, PIN or allocated secret.

2. Ownership factors — something the user includes like an identity card, security token or a smartphone.

3. Inherence factors, more generally known as biometrics something the user is. These may be individual factors planned from physical attributes like fingerprints, facades and voice. It also involves behavioral statistics like keystroke dynamics, walk or communication outlines.

Systems with more demanding needs for safety might use place and time as fourth and fifth factors.

Multifactor verification includes two or more autonomous documentations for more safe transactions.

Difference between single-factor authentication and two-factor authentication

Employing two factors from the similar category does not comprise 2FA; for instance, needing a password and an allocated undisclosed truth is still regarded as single-factor authentication, as they both fit into the same authentication factor, i.e., information.

As far as a single factor authentication service is concerned, user identification and password are not the safest. One issue with password-based verification is it needs knowledge and assiduousness to make and keep in mind powerful passwords. Passwords need safety from different inside threats such as not carefully accumulated sticky notes with login documentations, older hard drives and social-engineering developments. Passwords are also victim to outer threats like hackers employing brute-force, rainbow table or dictionary attacks.

Also, various types of SMS APIs such as Java SMS API, Magento SMS API, PHP SMS API, etc., also involve two-factor authentication to authenticate users.

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