Do you ever use net banking? If your answer is yes then you know that to make any transaction you need to enter the OPT (one-time password) code that land on your mobile phone. Without that code, it is not possible for you to transfer money. This is a simple example of two-factor authentication. At first, you need your credentials to access net banking and then to make transactions you need the second factor. That is the OTP. It is possible for hackers to have your credentials but still impossible for them to make transactions.
What is two-factor authentication(2FA)?
In simple terms, we can say that two-factor authentication or 2FA is a method where you need to provide two different things from two different sources to prove your identity. When it comes to online identity, generally, there are three types of ID.
- Things that you know like passwords, answer a secret question.
- Things that you have: like mobile phone, any security key.
- Things that you are: fingerprint, retina scan.
When your system is implemented with 2FA, you need to any two the mentioned factors to verify yourself. If you have one factor and miss the other one, you are not allowed to get access to the related resources.
Suppose, your Facebook account is protected with 2FA. The very first thing that you need is a password (something you know). But sometimes other people can get hold of your password. If he/she enters your credentials to Facebook account login, an authentication key will be sent to the registered phone. It is almost impossible for anyone else to get/steal this code. Thus your Facebook account remains safe. This is just a case. Today, businesses especially that are dealing with highly confidential data (banks, insurance companies, etc.) are using the technology to keep their customers data secure from hackers.
The need of both the factors to get the complete access doubles the security of online resources. With 2FA, no more tensions about the data breach and other hacking issues.