Two Factor Authentication (2FA) is becoming an increasingly popular authentication protocol to protect online websites and adds another layer of security to the traditional username and password model.
How does it work?
When a user registers for a website they are asked to enter their details, including their mobile number. The website will generally send a confirmation email which verifies the email address of the user but will also send an SMS with a 6 digit alphanumeric PIN number to the entered mobile phone number.
When the user receives this code they will type it into the website and thus be identified by their mobile phone number also. This 2 step authentication process adds an extra layer of security which ensures that the registered user is who they say.
In general there are 2 types of integration with SMS systems for two factor authentication.
In these types of solutions the SMS Gateway will take responsibility for generating the PIN and sending it to the mobile phone number of the user requiring authentication.
When the PIN is entered, the system must contact the SMS Gateway to verify the PIN number entered.
This is the simplest to implement for the authenticating website as they only have to send the initial message and the verification message to the SMS Gateway. The gateway will do the rest.
Direct Authentication with SMS
In this case the authenticating site generates the PIN number and sends it directly to the customer via the SMS Gateway. The user enters the number and verification is completed.
Two-factor authentication solutions are an industry-recognized approach for building a truly strong authentication process.
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