What is the purpose of two-factor authentication?
To answer this question, first you need to understand what is the two-factor authentication? This name is a special way to identify the user in a particular service. It involves request of different types of data, thereby providing reliable protection against hacking and virus attacks. Usually, a person must enter a login and a password, and then confirm the login by entering the confirmation code sent by e-mail or SMS. In some cases, it is possible to request biometric data (retina scanning, fingerprints) or a special USB-key.
Regardless of the data type, the essence of two-factor authentication does not change: the user agrees twice that he / she is trying to log in to his / her personal account. Only then does unauthorized access protection allows one to log in
Operating principle of two-factor authentication
So, we figured out why two-factor authentication is needed. Now we will discuss the principle of its functioning on illustrative examples.
- Everyone who pays for purchases on the Internet with a card is obliged to enter the transaction confirmation code sent by the bank in SMS. The same applies to financial transactions going through online banking. The correct code is a sign to approve the payment and indicates that it is the account holder who is trying to make the payment, not the fraudsters.
- A similar system operates on large Internet portals. After activation of two-factor authentication in your account, you will have to first enter the password to log in, and then - the code sent via SMS. In this case, an SMS will be sent by the site in any attempt of the user to enter the personal account from a new device, whether it is a computer or a smartphone. If you enter the correct password, but do not specify the code, access to the account will still be blocked. If you have not tried to log in, but received an SMS with an authentication code – urgently change your password: it means only one thing – the attackers intend to take over your account.
Quite often, users use backup authentication methods –applications, special functions, USB-key, one-time codes that are needed when it is impossible to receive SMS.
Does two-factor authentication really protect the user?
The answer to this question is clear – Yes. Even in a situation where unauthorized persons have information about the login and password, they still can not log in without a one-time code.
However, users are required to take their own measures to protect personal information in the virtual space: it is important to change passwords regularly, not to use the same logins in all services, to comply with the requirements of the banking service.
In recent years, fraudulent schemes have become much more complicated, and the most experienced user risks to get scammed. We are talking about popular calls on behalf of the bank's employees. Since criminals can not pick up a one-time code from the personal account, they are trying to figure it out fraudulently: the caller convinces the victim that the security system has noticed a suspicious transfer, for cancellation of which it is necessary to communicate the code sent via SMS. Clients, being in a state of stress, trust the person talking to them and follow his/her instructions, actually opening access to accounts with their own hands.
What you can protect with two-factor authentication
Most often, a two-factor protection system is found in:
- Personal accounts of the Internet banking.
- Social networks.
- Cloud service accounts.
- Postal and e-mail services.
However, this does not limit its usage.
Authentication with 2FA code can be used when entering an online store, personal account of a loyalty program website or in any other place where you can not do without one hundred percent protection of personal data.
Devino Telecom: we offer SMS service for setting up effective two-factor authentication and protection of your clients' personal data.