Dwight Watt - Newspaper Article #431 10/10/2018

Question: What is multi-faceted authentication?


The way you authenticate yourself on computer and networks and other devices is changing. Traditionally we have used single authentication where you either only had to enter a password or PIN to prove it was you. However, this is a weak system to authenticate ourselves and is easy for other to break.

What is appearing more and more out there is multi-factor authentication. Instead of just providing one thing you know (your password or PIN, you have to provide something else. Preferably the second item is a different type of proof. There are several different types of things you know besides passwords. Lots of times in past we did use that with lost passwords where you told where you were born, first boy or friendís name, street grew up on etc. However, someone can learn all that.

Other methods are something you have or your bio-metrics. Something you have could be a key fob that must be plugged in the computer, or an id card that is swiped or scanned, etc. Bio-metrics you see on some laptops now with the two most popular being an iris scan (computer does a scan or your eye and decides if you. Retinas were always considered to even be more unique than finger prints and now there is some question. Secondly, some people are hesitant about them fearing eye damage. With finger prints you put finger on a finger scanner that is also on many phones. A third one is a facial scan but there are still questions on makeup etc.

Moving to multi-factor authentication will make a little harder on the user but will make our devices and networks much securer.