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Two-Factor Authentication: What for & How to
December 16, 2016

2-factor

There are different types of protection against thieves, both real and virtual. Offline, you can use locks and keys, fences and guards; online, there are specialized digital tools that serve as “locks & keys” to provide security of your actions in WWW.

What is Authentication? Why is it necessary?

Multi-factor authentication (MFA) is a method of computer access control in which a user is only granted access after successfully presenting several separate pieces of evidence to an authentication mechanism. Two-factor authentication (2FA), a type of MFA, is a method of confirming a user’s claimed identity by utilizing a combination of two different components.

Historically speaking, the concept is not new. Back in February 2011, Google announced two-factor authentication for its users, followed by MSN and Yahoo. Twitter, Apple, Microsoft, Facebook and Amazon got it too.

What is the necessity for two factor authentication? That’s a loaded question when it comes to security. Two-factor authentication is not impervious to hackers, but it offered much more protection than logging in without it. Two-factor authentication adds a second level of authorization to an account log-in. It can drastically reduce the incidence of online identity thefts, phishing expeditions, and other online frauds.

Two-Factor Authentication to protect your identity online

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Types of Authentication Factors

A common example of two-factor authentication is a bank card: the card itself is the physical item and the personal identification number (PIN) is the data that goes with it. In general, three types of credentials are:

  • Something you know, such as a personal identification number (PIN), a password, a pattern,
  • Something you have, such as an ATM card, a phone, a fob, a USB stick with a secret token, a key, etc.
  • Something you are (biometrics), such as a fingerprint or voice print, eye iris, typing speed, pattern in key press intervals, etc.

These categories are also described as the knowledge factor, the possession factor and the inherence factor. For systems with more demanding security requirements, location and time are sometimes added as fourth and fifth factors. Some security procedures now require three-factor authentication (3FA), which typically involves possession of a physical token and a password used in conjunction with biometric data, such as finger scanning or a voiceprint.

In-House News

Privatoria team is considering the option of introducing two-factor authentication to its services, for the additional security and safety of its customers. There is never too much security!

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