Two-step OTP authentication

Rapid development of information technologies, although associated with various improvements of IT operations of companies, gave also rise to cyber threats. Improvement of security standards, which ensure the highest level of data protection, becomes nowadays a priority for many companies. In regard to this, introduction of more advanced authentication, such as OTP, is worth a consideration. OTP is type of a two-step authentication that uses a one-time password algorithm. Such authentication procedures are used even by Google .

OTP authentication – what is that ?

Before we explain how OTP authentication works, we need to mention what a two-factor authentication system is. Two-factor authentication, also known as multi-factor authentication, is nothing more than an additional layer of user-account security. The operation of this system is based on the fact that when logging in, the user must take an additional step, apart from entering the password, in order to log in. This is an increasingly popular and also the safest login method. The criminal, wanting to break into the system, must capture not only the password, but also a one-time code, which is not that easy.

There are currently two methods for obtaining a one-time password:

– SMS – every time one tries to log in, a one-time authentication code is sent to the phone number provided by the user.  The code is usually only active for some time;

– OPT – a more complicated authentication method, which, in a nutshell, is that the user is asked to scan a QR image using a special application. This in turn generates a one-time password for the user.

How does OTP authentication work?

The OPT method allows you to generate a one-time access password on the user side, not the server side. This password is generated through the application installed on the smartphone. This allows unrestricted user access to his account, without a necessity of sending a text message with a password every time one tries to log in.

Two-factor authentication definitely becomes an increasingly popular method of protecting against cyber threats and a method often used by many IT systems. Companies that want to implement the most effective ways to protect their data should consider to use the two-step OTP authentication. It is not only a less complicated method than the one based on sending SMS messages, but also a more effective one.