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Human-Factors Affecting Two-Factor Authentication

December 17th, 2006

Today’s online fraud typically involves the exploitation of human weaknesses, rather than technical vulnerabilities. To secure online systems against such crimes, therefore, an understanding of underlying human weaknesses is necessary; security controls designed without proper attention to human-factors issues are likely to fail the test of time and be compromised via next generation phishing and other attacks that exploit human weaknesses.

Many human factors problems grow dramatically as time progresses; even mutual authentication systems that appear to work in focus groups run for several weeks may prove entirely ineffective after being deployed in production for several months.

Green Armor’s new white paper explains key human-factors issues in ensuring the effectiveness of mutual authentication and two factor authentication, and explains how inappropriately designed two-factor and mutual authentication systems can easily be compromised with tricks not much different than those currently employed by online fraudsters. Financial institutions seeking to comply with new FFIEC guidelines regarding consumer authentication can greatly benefit from the valuable information within the new report.Read Full Story

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