What is OTP and two-factor authentication

2-factor authentication and security

What is 2-factor authentication?

Two-factor authentication is a method of identity verification that uses two different factors: any combination of knowledge, possession, or inherent factors. Two-factor authentication is a subset of multi-factor authentication, in which a combination of several factors is used to verify or authenticate user identity.

Knowledge factor

These are the most common methods of identity authentication by answering a question that only the user should know the answer - e. B. a previously chosen password, the PIN of his bank card, the answer to a predefined security question (e.g. the maiden name of the mother or the name of the first pet). The latter can be a poor form of authentication as such questions about the person can be common knowledge.

Inherent factor

An inherent authentication factor takes advantage of something that only the user has - such as a fingerprint, face or voice recognition. Mostly these are biometric methods.

Possession factor

The most basic case of ownership authentication is a key and lock - if you don't have a key, you cannot open the lock. Nowadays, people can carry a security token or download mobile authentication applications to perform ownership authentication. SMS authentication is a different type of ownership authentication because the user must have access to the correct mobile phone.

A one-time password is a common 2FA tool. One-time passwords (OTP) are valid for a single login session on a computer or other digital device. They provide an extra level of security as they are not susceptible to being taped in order to illegally hack into a service.