How Safe Are One-Time Passwords?

About One Time Passwords

Security Concerns

Banking anytime, anywhere. Now more and more people are moving their lives online and mobile banking and shopping is becoming part of our everyday lives.

However when money’s involved, it can become prone to cyber crime.

No one likes to think that their systems and networks are vulnerable to attack. However the truth of the matter is that vulnerabilities can arise quickly, such as the “Heartbleed Bug” which was exposed in April 2014.

The Heartbleed Bug allowed unauthenticated attackers to discover and steal private keys, passwords, session details and private data. Thankfully, there are solutions to counter-act these attacks.

Two-factor authentication, also commonly referred to as two-step verification presents employees or customers with two separate passwords – the user’s primary account password and a one-time-password (OTP). This provides an additional layer of protection when accessing online systems.

Let’s take a closer look!

What Are One Time Passwords?

OTPs are a form of two step verification, where the user validates their identity.

To do this, OTPs are sent via SMS. They are usually triggered at a point where you need to prove who you are, such as logging in or transferring money from your online account.

The typical process usually includes:

  1. A user attempts to log in to their account
  2. A unique, time-sensitive, temporary password is generated
  3. The unique password is sent to the user via SMS
  4. The SMS password is used as a 2nd form of identity authentication to log in

Benefits of 2FA

As the Heartbleed bug demonstrated, any breach to consumer account security can result in significant costs and reputation damage for the company.

OTPs can prevent that.

Most people own a mobile device and SMS exists on every phone. The ubiquity of SMS means that OTPs are very convenient.

OTPs add an additional layer of security, only enabling full access to an online bank account once a code has been entered.

It eliminates the need for physical hardware security tokens which many customers lose or leave at home, hindering their ability to bank online when they need to.

The most important benefit of unique passwords is enhanced security at an affordable cost, reducing the probability of an internet attacker gaining access to an account. These passwords are not reusable even if they are captured in transit.

OTPs make it much more difficult for attackers to gain access to sensitive information and accounts as they will need access to the person’s mobile phone as well.

For further peace of mind, OTP SMS uses HTTPS or FTPS for enhanced data transport security.

All of this ensures that user accounts have additional protection and secures businesses from a major data leak.

Implementing One-Time Passwords

Ready to implement two factor authentication into your finance business?

Many solutions exist, however it’s important to select a compliant and credible provider and don’t sacrifice on security.

Our two-factor authenticator issues and validates passwords and cryptographic checksums, using a secure mobile-device channel. This further negates any packet sniffing over the network.

You can manage OTP from an easy to use cloud based platform. You can also rest assured that we continually enhance our software to ensure you have the most secure solution for your business.

Learn more about our mobile solutions specifically designed for financial services.

 

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