TWO-FACTOR AUTHENTICATION BY TEXT MESSAGE: HOW DOES IT WORK?

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In the digital age where online security is an increasingly pressing priority, two-factor authentication (2FA) has emerged as a key bulwark against cyber threats. In this context, the use of SMS as a means of additive authentication is gaining in popularity.

In this article, we will explore two-factor authentication via SMS in depth, examining the benefits, challenges and providing practical tips on how to implement this technology to strengthen the security of your online accounts.

What is two-factor authentication

Two-factor authentication is an identity verification method that allows authentication via two factors, i.e., a password and an OTP code (One Time Password) that has a temporary duration.

The latter is most often sent by SMS, but other options also exist:

  • hardware: the OTP code is generated by a kind of USB stick;
  • applications: there are several (such as Google Authenticator or Microsoft Authenticator) capable of generating temporary codes;
  • biometric elements: the second step for authentication consists of facial recognition, using fingerprints, etc.

Two-factor authentication with SMS is still preferred as it guarantees high levels of security.

In this case, so-called A2P SMS (Application to Person) are used, i.e. one-way messages that are sent from an application to a person, which are able to protect users’ sensitive data as much as possible.

Two-factor authentication via SMS: areas of useTwo-factor authentication via SMS: areas of use

With online fraud on the rise, companies need to offer ever higher levels of protection.

Not having adequate levels of protection means putting one’s customers’ data at risk, with consequences for businesses that can be even more serious. Indeed, data breaches also have long-term effects on brand reputation.

The time to regain the trust of users can be long and result in considerable economic losses. That is why more and more companies are deciding to rely on a particularly secure protection system such as 2FA.

Take the case of software providers who need to preserve sensitive data of their customers. Deciding to send an OTP code via SMS each time a new login is made to the platform will ensure high protection against fraud and theft.

Undoubtedly, the main users of two-factor authentication via SMS are banking institutions, which have been using A2P SMS for some time now to provide their customers with maximum security. Each time an online purchase is made, the cardholder is sent a message containing an OTP code as part of the payment process. If the code is not entered, the transaction will fail.

Benefits of Two-Factor Authentication via SMS

1. Enhanced Security: The main objective of 2FA is to make unauthorised access to our accounts more difficult. Sending a verification code via SMS provides a second layer of security, requiring users to provide both something they know (the password) and something they possess (the mobile phone).

2. Quick and Convenient Access: Compared to other two-factor authentication methods, such as authentication apps, SMS offers quick access without the need to install additional apps. Most people already have a mobile phone and receiving a text message only takes a few seconds.

3. Wide Accessibility: SMS is supported by virtually all mobile phones, regardless of the operating system. This means that 2FA via SMS is accessible to a wide audience without the need for specific devices or technologies.

Two-factor authentication via SMS with the Multichannel Platform

Of course, it is crucial to always rely on platforms that guarantee high protection of user data. Rdcom for data protection and transmission uses the HTTP protocol encrypted with TLS from v1.2, and where this is not possible, through IPSec VPNs, therefore, particularly secure.

Finally, it is good to remember that standard authentication is also important to secure:

  • choose long passwords
  • insert special characters
  • do not use personal information (date of birth, first name, surname, etc.).
  • dentify expiry times not exceeding 90 days

If you are thinking of enhancing the security level of your services with two-factor authentication, ask us for more information!

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