Definition

single-factor authentication (SFA)

Single-factor authentication (SFA) is the traditional security process that requires a user name and password before granting access to the user.

SFA security relies on the diligence of the user, who should take additional precautions -- for example, creating a strong password and ensuring that no one can access it. For applications that require greater security, it may be advisable to implement more complex systems, such as multifactor authentication.

In a two-factor authentication system, the user provides dual means of identification, one of which is typically a physical token, such as a card, and the other of which is typically something memorized, such as a security code.

This was last updated in March 2007
Posted by: Margaret Rouse

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