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Types of Two-factor Authentication

Last Updated : 29 Jan, 2020
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Two-factor Authentication refers to the use of any two self-reliant methods from the various authentication methods. Two-factor authentication is used to ensure that the user has been recognized to access secure systems and to increase the security. Two-factor authentication is first implemented for laptops because of the fundamental security liabilities in mobile computers. By the use of two-factor authentication, it becomes more difficult for unauthorized users to use a mobile device to access secure data or systems.

Two-factor Authentication means for being authenticated, any two of the authentication factors is required. The various types of two-factor authentication used by the owner of the secure systems are as follows:

1. Wireless Tokens:
One form of security used in two-factor authentication is tokens. Wireless tokens is an advanced type of tokens in which automatic pairing of authentication factors is done and no requirement of keying character sequences. These two make the authentication process easy. In this type of authentication, unwanted access of mobile devices is prevented by automatic alarm.

2. Virtual Tokens:
Virtual tokens are a new concept in two-factor authentication. Virtual tokens utilizes the user’s existing internet device which reduces the expenditures commonly associated with implementation and preservation of multi-factor solutions. The solution also does not suffer from man-in-the-middle attacks and other forms of online fraud as user’s internet device is communicating directly with the authentication website.

3. Magnetic Cards :
One solution of two-factor authentication is magnetic cards connected with secure, encrypting card readers. Magnetic cards may be credit cards, debit cards, ATM cards, etc. Each magnetic stripe card has its own different characteristics like the card’s fingerprint known as magnetic fingerprint. The magnetic stripe contains a magnetic fingerprint which is of a much benefit and no cards would need to be re-issued. To determine the cards authenticity, a correlative number called a dynamic digital identifier is provided in each swipe of the card that can be scored and match to the activated value.

4. SMS One Time Password :
SMS one-time password ensures two-factor authentication by using information sent as an SMS to the user as part of the login process. The user receives a unique, temporary PIN code in the SMS. The users then enters this code into the website to prove his identity. This process provide an extra layer of online security in addition to simple username and password.

5. Additional Phone Token :
In this type of authentication, mobile phone is used as the processor and consists of the security token in the form of java ME client. As with the use of mobile phones as processor, this authentication is liable to MITM attacks. In this method attack is possible, where victim has enter their login credentials to a counterfeit website. This website would pass these credentials to the appropriate website using new protocols. Then this appropriate website would sent a one-time password to the user’s mobile device. The victim would enter the one-time-password onto the counterfeit website, which then forward this to the appropriate website from where the fraudster may use it to complete their access.

6. Universal Serial Bus :
A USB token is used in various forms in authentication process. A USB token generally has a much larger storage capacity for login credentials than a smart card. It cannot be fitted in a wallet, but can easily be attached to a key ring. They are costly to set up and support, are exposed to various forms of thefts and frauds.

7. Mobile Signature :
Mobile Signatures are digital signatures created on a mobile device on any of the SIM card by using a private key. In this system text to be signed is to the SIM card on a mobile phone secure . Then with the help of the text received by the user, who checks it before entering a PIN code to create a signature which is then sent back to the service provider. Typical PKI systems are used to verify the signature.


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