For decades two-factor authentication has been lurking in the shadows. Most people never even realized they were performing the process of authenticating with two factors to access almost any secure information over the web. Although as 2012 approaches, we are starting to see this technology adopted by many businesses and it is more people understand the security behind two factor authentications and the importance of the technology. This could possibly be because there are so many attacks performed every day on every one.
It seems as though as time goes on more people and their information are being breached. Some of you may even know of friends or family that have fallen victim to identity theft attacks. Many people have had their emails and passwords to sites compromised and not even know it. There are also many instances where there are more advanced security breaches such as credit and banking fraud. As we become more accustomed to these scenarios we also become more educated and solutions against these types of attacks become more advanced.
Of course remedying the easier attacks comes down to keeping your computer cleaned of malicious software as well as changing your password regularly. However combating the latter involves utilizing security solutions such as two-factor authentication. Although this form of authentication is more secure than using only a single factor there are certain parts of the process that can be more secure based on the solution vendor.
Out-of-band two factor authentication solutions offer an added layer of security when authenticating. They require the user to receive a one-time password or pin on a separate network than the one they are trying to access. If a bank account holder were trying to access their online banking account from a different IP address than they usually do the bank may require this type of authentication by sending a pin to the client’s mobile phone through SMS text message. This would be considered an out-of-band two factor authentication.
Although during out-of-band authentication there is still a chance for attackers to steal information. Zero footprint authentication allows for a safe and secure experience while authentication through an out-of-band device. Zero footprint security refers to the information that is left behind on the device used to relay the one time password. During the authentication process the client receives their OTP but all traces of the process are hidden with no data left behind.
We will start to see changes to the most basic of two-factor authentications such as an ATM card and pin code. The future of computerized banking authentication will probably rely on an out-of-band solution since attackers are becoming so savvy to security. Scanners that can be placed within an ATM can easily steal your ATM card information as well as capture your pin code making this older two-factor authentication process less secure.
The future of two-factor authentication is promising as it can be applied to many security applications. With more secure forms of authenticating being implemented, it is becoming much safer to prevent fraudulent identity attacks. Even though we can never truly be 100% safe from identity theft and fraudulent activity we can become more secure making it harder for hackers to siphon information and steal personal records.