How it works: Multi-Factor Authentication

Multi-factor authentication is a process in which users are prompted during the sign-in process for an additional form of identification, such as a code on their cellphone or a fingerprint scan.

If you only use a password to authenticate a user, it leaves an insecure vector for attack. If the password is weak or has been exposed elsewhere, an attacker could be using it to gain access. When you require a second form of authentication, security is increased because this additional factor isn't something that's easy for an attacker to obtain or duplicate.

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Multi-Factor Authentication works by requiring two or more of the following authentication methods:

  • Something you know, typically a password.

  • Something you have, such as a trusted device that's not easily duplicated, like a phone or hardware key.

  • Something you are - biometrics like a fingerprint or face scan.