Cyber-Security Concept of the Month – Dual Factor Authentication

Cyber-Security Concept of the Month – Dual Factor Authentication

As cyber-security threats continue to increase, it becomes even more important for everyone to understand basic security concepts. ISD is introducing a new monthly column to help our clients comprehend the ever-changing cyber-security vocabulary.

Authentication is simply the process of proving you are who you say you are.

There are 5 basic types of authentication listed in order of popularity:

  • Something you know, such as a password or a PIN
  • Something you have, such as a smart card, USB token, or an app on your phone
  • Something you are, such as a fingerprint or other bio-metric identification
  • Somewhere you are, such as your location using geo-location technologies
  • Something you do, such as gestures on a touch screen

By combining two (or more) types of authentication you make access more secure. Passwords and PINs can be hacked or stolen, but when using dual or multi-factor authentication, a password is useless without the second authentication type.