*If you landed on this page from an external link, you might want to start here… AuthAnvil is now three solutions, the AuthAnvil Password Server, AuthAnvil Two Factor Auth and AuthAnvil Single Sign On! The following tour is technical information for AuthAnvil Two Factor Auth only.
What is Two Factor Authentication (2FA)? Think about withdrawing money from a bank ATM machine for a moment. How does that work? You need your bank card plus a PIN code.
Your bank requires your card to be placed into the ATM machine, and that you enter in your matching PIN code on the pin pad. It doesn’t allow you to do a lot of guessing before locking out your account access. Based on the combination of you HAVING the card, and KNOWING the PIN, you can withdraw money from virtually any bank ATM machine in the world that can communicate with your financial institution. This is exactly how “two-factor” authentication works: you need to have a unique physical key plus know a private PIN code.
With AuthAnvil 2FA, you will also need to have a PIN just like you would with your bank. This is a 4 to 8 digit PIN that only you know. But instead of using a bank card, you will use an authentication device called a “token”. It dynamically generates one time passwords (OTP) that can only ever be used once. To raise the assurance that you are who you say you are when accessing sensitive systems protected with AuthAnvil 2FA, you will have to prove you KNOW your PIN, and HAVE the OTP. Only when both factors are present will you be permitted to log on.
That is what two factor authentication is about.