Data breaches. Account takeovers. SIM swap fraud. With fraudsters growing more sophisticated each day, it’s no secret that two-factor authentication (2FA) or multi-factor authentication (MFA) is now a bare minimum requirement that companies must invest in to secure their customers’ accounts. However, the most common form of MFA/2FA, called SMS OTP (or SMS one-time password), has several known vulnerabilities. If you’re already familiar with SMS OTP and its pitfalls, feel free to skip ahead to the section entitled What is Instant Link™?
What’s Wrong with SMS OTP?
The challenges associated with SMS OTP are well-documented and basically fall into two buckets:
So it’s clear that there are several reasons why companies are already starting to move away from SMS OTP, but what are the alternatives? While we offer several next-generation SMS OTP alternative solutions at Prove, one of our most popular is Instant Link because it blends some of the familiarity of a possession-based check like SMS OTP with added fortifications against account takeover and a better customer experience.
What is Instant Link?
Instant Link is a second-factor authentication (a.k.a, a “proof of possession check”) service that allows companies to embed a secure clickable link in an SMS text. Essentially, Instant Link looks similar to an SMS OTP at first glance and works in a similar way, but instead of a numerical passcode that can be intercepted, a secure link is sent via SMS that can be clicked by your customer to authenticate them and perform a secure “cryptographic handshake” confirming that it’s really your customer on the other end of a transaction. When a user clicks an Instant Link, the NIST standard of two-factor authentication is met. Optionally, Instant Link can fortify the SMS OTP standard by performing a mobile carrier authentication on top of the clicking of the link. The added mobile carrier authentication, in addition to IP address confirmation, adds a NIST approved multi-factor authentication.
Some of the main benefits of Instant Link that Prove customers have found valuable for their businesses include:
Do you have questions about Instant Link and how it can help you meet your fraud prevention and customer experience goals? Get in touch with us to have all of your questions answered .
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