What is two-factor authentication?
Two-factor authentication is a method of providing access to an online account. It requires two different types of information to get access to information or system.
It is a way of convincing the computer system that you are the one who has the right to access to the system or information. The common authentication method used is the username and password. Most of the firms still use one-factor authentication for security which is not enough these days. Two-factor authentication requires username with a password and one-time code that is mostly sent on cell -phone to prove your identity to gain access.
Why use two-factor authentication?
The reason behind various data breach is using weak and reused usernames and passwords for multiple sites and accounts. These usernames and passwords by sold in the dark web which is later on used by cybercriminals to get access to sensitive data.
Different security techniques are used by sites that can be a security question or knowledge-based authentication. Answers to such questions can be gathered by cybercriminals through different sites and it gets easier for them to get access to personal or sensitive data.
The benefit of using two-factor authentication is that it requires two different passwords for getting access. One can be a regular password while the second one is generated during login and the user receives it on their cell phones. It is a one-time password and cannot be used again.
Two-factor authentications use a separate and special security gadget which the users carry with them and can access to the system whenever and wherever they want. The gadget is a Smartphone that the users have. In two-factor authentication, the user is sent a numeric code as a text message after using the username and password to log into a site. Some websites offer a QR code that is scanned by a special App on smartphones.
Another way of authentication is by using biometrics in which the user’s physical personality is examined. A username and password may be paired by thumbprint or retina scan in order to protect the sensitive data. Nowadays facial expression and fingerprints are also used along with usernames and passwords to get access to special data.