What is Multi Factor authentication
Multi-factor authentication is an electronic authentication method in which a computer user is granted access to a website or application only after successfully presenting two or more pieces of evidence to an authentication mechanism: knowledge, possession, and inherence.
What is an example of Multi Factor Authentication?
Multi-factor authentication is when you use two or more authentication factors to verify your identity. These factors include:
- Something you know, such as a password, passphrase or personal identification number (PIN)
- Something you have, such as a token or smartcard
- Something you are, such as a biometric like a fingerprint
We describe some examples of these three factors below.
Something you know (a PIN) and something you have (a smart card)
In most cases, you use login credentials as your first line of defence to protect an account. For example, to sign in to your online banking account, you need to enter your account number and a password.
These log-in credentials are pieces of information that you know, and by having this knowledge of the account number and password, you are identifying yourself as the account owner. But these credentials are an example of single-factor authentication.
As an example of multi-factor authentication, imagine you are at an ATM so that you can withdraw money from your bank account. Your debit card (something you have) is one authentication factor.
However, to access your account, you also need to enter the PIN that is associated with your debit card. Your PIN (something you know) is your second authentication factor.
It’s a great example of multi-factor authentication at work: Your bank card is one means of identifying who you are. If you lose your debit card, or someone steals it, your PIN provides an added layer of security
Something you are (a biometric)
Biometrics is an example of the third authentication factor, something you are. Biometrics refers to the measurement and use of your unique body characteristics, such as your fingerprint, facial structure, or speech patterns.
Banks and investment firms commonly use voice recognition when you call them to verify your identity. Your voice is analyzed based on its acoustics and individual characteristics like your accent, speech rhythm, and vocabulary.
As an example of multi-factor authentication that uses biometrics, consider your cell phone. You can enable multi-factor authentication so that you have to enter a PIN (something you know) and scan your fingerprint (something you have).
Biometrics are a convenient form of authentication because you have them readily available.
Is Username and Password Multi Factor Authentication?
Two-factor authentication (sometimes called “two-step verification”) combines something you know — your username and password, with something you have — such as your phone or a physical security key, or even something you are — like your fingerprint or another biometric, as a way of confirming that a person is authorized to log in. You might not have thought much about it, but you do this more than you think. Whenever you withdraw money from an ATM, you insert your card (something you have) and enter your PIN (something you know) — which tells the bank that it’s you. Even when you use your bank card on the internet, often you still need something that you know — such as your ZIP or postal code.
Having a second step of authentication makes it so much more difficult for a hacker or a thief to break into your online accounts.
What is the best Authenticator app?
- Google Authenticator: Best overall.
- LastPass Authenticator: Runner up
- Microsoft Authenticator.
- Authy: Best multi-device solution.
- Yubico Authenticator.
- Titan Security Key.
What does Google Authenticator app do?
Google Authenticator is a free security app that can protect your accounts against password theft. It’s easy to set up and can be used in a process called two-factor authentication (2FA) offered on popular services like Gmail, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and more.
What happens if I lose my Google Authenticator device?
If you have lost or your phone was stolen, anyone may now generate new tokens using your Google Authenticator app. After you recover access to your Google Account using Backup Codes, go to 2-Step Verification and select the Change Phone option under Authenticator App. Scan the QR code with your new phone.
How do I recover my Google Authenticator account?
How do I recover my account? You will need to set up all accounts on the Authenticator again. Google does not have a copy of the codes, as that information is only generated locally on your device, on an “on-demand” basis, and thus cannot be synced to the Google servers.
For any further information regarding MFA, please check out the Australian Cyber website.
Looking for a MFA solution at your business? If so, give us a call today and we can help out with setting you up.