Multi-Factor Authentication

An overview of MFA.

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Multifactorial authentication can be a bit of a confusing topic, so let’s break it down and see what it’s all about.

There are three different factors associated with authentication. The first one is typically referred to as something you know, for example, a password. You need to remember that password and just type it in whenever you want to authenticate.

The second is something you have. So, in other words, you might have a physical token. You might use these for work where you’re given a physical token. Sometimes they generate a code that you use to log in, and which proves that the person who’s authenticating owns this device. But, of course, these can be compromised because they can be stolen or lost. The other type of token is a software-based version such as Google Authenticator.

The third method of authentication is something you are, also known as biometrics. That might be a fingerprint, a retinal scan, or some other biological test to prove that you really are who you say you are.

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