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Multi-Factor Authentication

What It Is and Why We Need It

NOC will be implementing Multi-Factor Authentication in 2024 to add another layer of account security, supplementing the username and password model with another factor that only the specific user has access to.

Multi-Factor Authentication is the use of two or more independent means of evidence (factors) to assert the identity of a user requesting access to an application or service. The most common form of multi-factor authentication is two-factor authentication (2FA), which pairs your first authentication factor (typically something you know like your password) with a second factor of an entirely different kind such as something you have and something you are. The multiple types of authentication factors are as follows:

Something You Know Password

  • Password
  • Personal Identification Number (PIN)
  • Security Question

Something You Have

  • Smartphone
  • Token
  • Smart Card/ID Badge

Something You Are

  • Fingerprint
  • Retinal Scan
  • Voice Pattern

With MFA, a potential compromise of just one of these factors won’t unlock the account. So, even if your password is stolen or your phone is lost, the chances of someone else having your second-factor information is highly unlikely. Note that the use of a password in combination with a PIN, for example, is NOT considered two-factor authentication because both pieces of information involve a single factor-something you know. MFA should be used whenever possible because it immediately neutralizes the risks associated with compromised passwords by adding an additional layer of security to protect highly sensitive personal information. If a password is hacked, guessed, or phished, they would still need the required second factor on the account, making the stolen password alone useless.