Token authentication is a form of “two-factor authentication”, meaning users must supply two unique factors when logging in. The first factor is something the user knows, like a password or PIN. The second factor is provided by an authenticator, a hardware or software “token” with a code that changes randomly, usually every sixty seconds. Token authentication is used by individuals and organizations to increase security for devices and networks.
As companies open their networks to a wide variety of remote users such as mobile employees, customers, partners, resellers and suppliers, they risk the exposure of highly valuable, proprietary and sensitive information. Token authentication helps protect sensitive information while providing the following benefits:
Token authentication offers protection across remote access servers, VPNs, web portals, enterprise networks, and cloud-based applications.
Tokens can be either a physical piece of hardware such as a key fob, or software delivered as an application on a mobile device. This allows users the flexibility to choose the authentication option that works best for them.
Even if a user’s password is compromised, the authentication code from the hardware or software token is still required for access (and vice versa), helping to significantly reduce the risk of unauthorized users gaining entry to a network.
AT&T Token Authentication Service provides enhanced access security for a wide range of customer applications ranging from enabling stronger authentication for a VPN to enforcing highly secure access across an entire enterprise.
The key fob style authenticator has a small screen that displays a code that is generated randomly and changes in intervals. The user will enter this code in addition to a password they have created to obtain access to electronic resources.
Single Sign-On technology stores the authentication token so that a user is only required to validate their credentials one time, instead of each time they try to access a different resource.
Smart cards can be used as security tokens and are usually seen in two different forms: Contact - such as credit cards with electronic chips, and Contactless - such as an employee badge.
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