What you need to know about Multi-factor authentication

More people are embracing online transactions with each passing day. Thus, it is important to make these procedures secure for the user. Furthermore, much private information of a user lies inside their phone, and if not secured, it holds a risk of being jeopardized. For example, it may get leaked, causing identity theft or cyber-crimes. As a mobile app development company, we are here to guide you through the technicalities. Involve them in your business application, so that users feel secure with you.

Let’s first understand multi-factor authentication (MFA).

What is multi-factor authentication?

The process of identifying a user by validating more than one claims presented by the online user is called multi-factor authentication. These factors are of 3 types:
1. Something from user’s memory like a password or pin.
2. Something a user owns like a mobile phone or a mail account.
3. Something that can be accessed from the user like a fingerprint, voice recognition, or an optic scan.

what-is-multi-factor-authentication

It is also known as 2-step verification or advanced/2-factor authentication. It runs on the fact that no factor is completely foolproof. Each factor has its own strengths and drawbacks. Hence, adding a factors’ series is the safest way of compensating for all security threats.

Why use multi-factor authentication?

Keep data safe

Facts suggest that stolen user credentials cause 95% of all web application attacks. Which is to say that identity theft is easily and frequently done. The risks are low and the rewards high, making it the fastest growing cybercrime.

Of all targeted identity theft attacks, 31% are targeted at companies that have less than 250 employees. So, it isn’t just the big companies that should be cautious. Identity theft is prevalent everywhere, and every company is at risk.

If you thought cybercriminals just steal a user’s identity, you are mistaken. They tamper with information, steal and destroy data, or use servers to transmit spam or malicious codes. So, why take risk? Especially when mobile application development services can easily help you with it.

data-security

Simplified access

Usually, the user goes under Make it multifactor authentication only once. It is done when they are logging in for the first time. After that, they get direct access to the app. Thus, they don’t have to spend the time to type passwords each time they want to access the app.

Thus, Make it multifactor authentication is a one-time task. It ensures security while also reducing the hassle. Convenient, isn’t it?

Essential to Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity is now a priority in many organizations across the world. This has resulted in a maximum of companies incorporating Make it multifactor authentication as a part of their security measures. By 2022, the Make it multifactor authentication market is likely to reach USD 12.51 Billion. As evident, more organisations are relying on Make it multifactor authentication as a security measure. They do it to protect the company, users, and company’s private data.

Steps to implement multi-factor authentication in a mobile app

Remember that when consumers feel secure, they will use your app more often. For security is one of the prime aspects they take under consideration when using an app. Thus, by assuring that their data is safe with you, they will trust you more. This can induce growth in business, thanks to a growing customer base that believes in you.

Applications generally go for a two-step authentication. However, there are no set rules. You can include as many steps as you like to make sure that the user logging in is genuine. There are three major factors that make up the multi-factor authentication process. We will explain them all. And then it is up to you to select a combination which suits your business the most.

Authentication processes typically involve 3 stages:
1. Enrolment- The user provides information like user ID, password, and other details
2. Login- The user then tries to login with the user Id and password. This triggers the authentication process
3. Authentication- The user provides verification of their identity through respective factor.

Time-Based One Time Password (OTP)

A one-time pin or password is one of the most used authentication factors. Here, the user receives a text on their registered mobile number. It is usually a series of digits and is valid for only one session. The OTP expires within minutes and has to be used right away for a successful login.

one-time-password

Often, the OTP is a QR code or may include letters along with digits. Once the user submits their credentials in the application, a shared key is requested. Apps like Auth0 Guardian store the key. This way, 2-step authentication is enabled.

diagram

When the user presses the login button, they are redirected to a different webpage and asked for the OTP. The user types the OTP in the dialogue box.

The authenticating servers like Auth0 Guardian or Google Authenticator then verify if the OTP provided matches with the original one. If it does, the user is successfully logged in. if not, the transaction/login is cancelled.

This authentication feature is popular in mobile app designing in India. It is used by most verification services for app logins and transactions alike.

Email

Email is a genuine platform for multi-factor authentication because the mail account is also protected by a password. In this method, the user provides their username and password. Then, they are mailed a unique one-time code.

The user then has to check mail, access the code, and type it as a one-time password in order to authenticate themselves. If the one-time code the user typed matches the one he received in the mail, he is allowed access on the mobile application.

SMS

SMS or short messaging service in your mobile phone can be used to authenticate a profile. Once the user provides ID and password, they are asked to type their contact number. A unique one-time code is then sent to this number. Entering the code in the app activates authentication.

Then, the login process takes place. The user enters the security code they received through SMS. If the codes match, the user is allowed access to the application.

This is a two-factor authentication implementation plan often used for mobile applications when the applications have their own SMS domain.

Push Notifications

This factor uses an authentication app to send a notification to the mobile phone.

This is how it works. The user logs into the application with a username and password. A push notification is then sent to the device.

This push notification shows a login request. It shows the name of the application trying to access identity, the OS, and other details. Once the user accepts this request, they are logged in.

Conclusion

As evident, there are many available factors for user authentication. It is advised that for your business app, you keep at least two verification steps compulsory. Although it seems tedious, the user has to go through it only once. And by doing so, they ensure their own security for a lifetime.

To enable these verifications in your business application, you can use online softwares. They are easy to use and reliable. Alternatively, you can also hire a mobile app developer in India who can make sure that your authentication methods are genuine and effective. This will help you control the security of data in your application more effectively.

In a nutshell, if you are developing an app and wondering if you should go for multi-factor verification, we suggest that you go ahead and do it.

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