Security Protocols: What is Multi-Factor Authentication?

September 22, 2020 11:37 AM

In this unprecedented time we find ourselves in, it is so important to be diligent about financial security. One of the newer, more effective security protocols in place for banking online is called Multi-Factor Authentication. You have probably heard of it and have experienced it, but what is it exactly?

Here’s a simple guide to understanding it.

Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) is a security system that verifies a user’s identity by requiring multiple verification points. Since traditional usernames and passwords can be stolen, and they’ve become increasingly more vulnerable attack by cybercriminals. So rather than just asking for the basics, MFA requires additional credentials, such as a code from the user’s smartphone or email, an answer to a security question, a fingerprint, or facial recognition.

A real-life example looks like this: While attempting to log on to your account from your home computer, a screen prompts you for a unique code that was sent to your cell phone. That cell phone then requires facial recognition to unlock it.  That’s called multi-factor authentication!

These multiple layers of security to help increase the confidence that the user requesting access is actually who they claim to be. Authentication factors fall into “buckets” of verification best explained like this:


We encourage you to mitigate any security risks, and enable quick access to your accounts by understanding the most up-to-date security protocols. If in doubt about any communications from the Horizon, please don’t hesitate to contact your local branch or call us at 888-873-2640.