AuthEd is a monthly Wicket educational series where we share insights and answer questions about the authentication industry and how our software products play into it.
What IS authentication?
Authentication at its core is about validating someone’s identity; to execute a transaction, whether it be to withdraw cash, interact with a trusted system, or even enter a building. Most of us use some sort of authentication service every day. We have become accustomed to this by using a face to unlock an iPhone or SMS and email verification to log in to our various accounts.
The standard mechanism of authentication that the majority of people are familiar with is the use of passwords. So a password can be considered one factor of authentication to protect something of value. However, having an increasingly tricky password becomes unwieldy for the user, yet to protect valuable assets from being hacked or compromised, a second Factor of Authentication (2FA) is needed. Sometimes, even more factors of authentication are added, making it Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA).
Why is 2FA and MFA needed?
Let’s use a specific example – you have a bank account with your hard-earned money in it, and your bank has a website or application to access the account. To log in, you can enter your username and password, but you’ve recently learned that your bank had a data breach, and your information might now be available to hackers.
You can either do nothing and run the risk of your account being accessed by a stranger, or you can set up email 2FA so that anytime the account is accessed it requires you to verify your identity through something you know or something you have with you (the 2FA). The chances of someone having access to both factors are slim, thus increasing the security of your bank account.
So what is 2FFA?
A special case of 2FA is 2FFA, or second Factor of Facial Authentication (2FFA). Your face is something you have and carry around with you. Using your face as your second factor of authentication is very prudent and secure. Unlike passwords that can be cracked with compute or keycards which can also be compromised or passed around, thus diminishing authentication, a face is a highly secure authentication mechanism.
Anytime someone registers to use our facial authentication software, they’re essentially opting in to use their face as their unique form of identification. Wicket provides facial authentication software, which is often used as 2FFA by customers that already have traditional security mechanisms (such as a keycard or lock-and-key) and also want to add security (or extra factor) using facial authentication. Increasingly, customers use facial authentication as a primary factor, or the only security, especially when controlling physical access into a restricted area or space.
By pairing Wicket’s facial authentication products with existing access control hardware, our customers can rest assured knowing that they have two or even three layers of authentication in place to protect their most valuable areas or assets.
Thanks for joining us on this AuthEd journey, and if you’re interested in layering facial authentication on top of your existing access solution please reach out to us at email@example.com