Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)

Multi-Factor Authentication, or MFA, is a form of authenticating users that utilizes more than one method of identification when connecting to a secure site or service. This provides an additional layer of security over traditional forms of single sign-on authentication, which require only one type of identification such as a password.

Also known as two-factor authentication, or 2FA, multi-factor authentication can take several forms, but most typically utilizes either a smartphone or a smart card in conjunction with a password or PIN. More advanced forms of MFA will sometimes rely on biometrics such as fingerprint recognition or retina scanning for the second form of authentication.

How Multi-Factor Authentication Normally Works

A user logging into a site secured with MFA will typically enter a password and then will have a code sent to the smartphone number (or email address) associated with the account. Only after the correct password and the authentication code have been successfully entered will the user be able to access the site or service.

While not completely foolproof, MFA does make it harder for hackers to log in to a user s account, as they would need to have both the user s password and access to their smartphone or similar device in order to correctly provide both forms of authentication.

As a result, MFA is typically deployed for protecting access to more sensitive or mission-critical information within an enterprise. MFA is also increasingly becoming a requirement in government mandates for regulation and compliance.

Forrest Stroud
Forrest is an experienced, entrepreneurial and well-rounded professional with 15+ years covering technology, business software, website design, programming and more.

Top Articles

The Complete List of 1500+ Common Text Abbreviations & Acronyms

Text Abbreviations reviewed by Web Webster   From A3 to ZZZ we list 1,559 SMS, online chat, and text abbreviations to help you translate and understand...

Windows Operating System History & Versions

The Windows operating system (Windows OS) refers to a family of operating systems developed by Microsoft Corporation. We look at the history of Windows...

How to Create a Website Shortcut on Your Desktop

Website Shortcut on Your Desktop reviewed by Web Webster   This Webopedia guide will show you how to create a website shortcut on your desktop using...

Generations of Computers (1st to 5th)

Reviewed by Web Webster Learn about each of the 5 generations of computers and major technology developments that have led to the computing devices that...

How to Create a...

Hotmail was one of the first public webmail services that could...

NoSQL

NoSQL (Not Only SQL) is a type of database for web applications and...

Zoom

In graphical user interfaces, to "zoom" or "zoom in" is to make a...