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Two factor authentication is not magic nor fantasy
There is a lot of two-factor authentication in the real world, even if most of the authentication in our computer lives relies only on a username and password.
When you see news of a security breach or a list of passwords exposed, odds are that somewhere in the story of how it happened the attack would have been blocked — or at least made much more difficult — if two factor authentication had been employed.
At the gates of Disney World, pictured here, you will need to present both your NFC card "ticket" and a fingerprint associated with it. The fingerprint prevents you from passing your ticket on to other people.
In the pages that follow, we will examine six two-factor authentication methods that are available in the real world, although some are used more than others.
(Image ZDNet/CBS Interactive Inc.)
EMV/Chip and PIN
EMV (EuroPay/MasterCard/Visa) is the name of a standard for smart payment cards long in effect outside the US, and known in the UK and Ireland as Chip and PIN. Because of mandates by MasterCard and VISA in the US, adoption of EMV should move rapidly in the next few years.
Even an old-style magswipe ATM card is technically two-factor since you have to have both the card and PIN, but for many reasons this has proven a low barrier to criminals who capture PINs with a camera as they skim the magnetic strip on its way into the device.
EMV cards have a crypto chip in them so there's no simple way to skim them in order to sell copies. EMV doesn't have much application in mainstream computing authentication, but it will have a big impact on the US and perhaps will generate an appreciation for the benefits of two-factor authentication.
(Image courtesy visa.com)