SMS as an extra security layer

sms two-factor authentication

It is already happening that many countries intend to go completely cashless over the next years. The main reason is to tackle underground economy. It is also cheaper and more efficient to distribute digital currency in a sparse and tech-friendly population. Unlike what we would imagine, most of them are countries with population largely unbanked. Yet, these countries have got very high mobile penetration. Take Kenya for example, with 26.2 million mobile money accounts in 2015. For it to succeed, of course, there needs to be a way to secure every single account and transaction.

Introducing an extra layer of security is already requested by the consumers. They experience violations of the, now outdated, password-based account security. It really is as simple as stealing a single password and hijacking computers. Ultimately, customer information is vulnerable to cyber-attacks, millions are spent in fraud control and brands are losing their clients’ trust.

Multi-factor authentication is a method that is already in motion and so far, very effective. It helps you protect your account from various threats such as key loggers, even in cases your password is stolen. The most usual systems for two-factor authentication are either tokens that the user is required to carry, software embedded on their mobile phones or even printed list of passes. The truth, however, is that users are tired of multiple security questions, often forget them and find the account access process both complex and time-consuming.

SMS two-factor authentication

This is why two-factor authentication is so often performed via SMS along with the traditional login credentials required. When a SMS two- factor authentication is enabled, the user is sent an authentication code by SMS, usually referred to as One-Time Password. The One-Time Password is valid for a very short period of time. It is meant to be employed alongside the info that the user alone knows such a PIN or a password.

SMS two-factor authentication provides guaranteed protection and luckily the poor user experience and the high costs of earlier attempts have been overcome with the use of good-old SMS. Bright examples of the SMS two-factor authentication success are their increasing usage in mobile banking, as well as a built-in security method for iOS, and Apple’s websites. It seems like the cashless era is approaching and the security standards prove more than adequate for such an endeavour.

Written by Vasiliki Tsavdari