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What is a One Time Password (OTP)?

One Time Password (OTP) is a unique and dynamic authentication code that is valid for a single use within a short timeframe. It is used to minimise the risk of fraudulent login attempts and to maintain high levels of security. OTPs are a string of characters or numbers that are automatically generated and sent to the user’s phone (usually by SMS, Voice, or Push message).

One Time Passwords (OTP) have become the standard approach for facilitating logins under specific situations, like validating a new account or verifying the legitimacy of a transaction. Often referred to as a one-time PIN, one-time authorisation code (OTAC), or dynamic password, it typically consists of a six-digit number sent to a customer's phone. The user then inputs this code into the site or app they are trying to access.

OTP Meaning

OneTime Password (OTP) is a unique and dynamic authentication code that is valid for a single use within a certain time. Unlike traditional static passwords, which remain unchanged until manually updated, OTPs provide an additional layer of security by introducing an element of time sensitivity and uniqueness.

Key Components of OTP

Each OTP generated is unique to a specific authentication session, ensuring that the code cannot be reused.

Time Sensitive
OTPs have a limited validity period, typically ranging from a few seconds to a few minutes. This time constraint adds an extra layer of security by minimising the window of opportunity for malicious or fraudulent activity

Dynamic Generation
OTPs are dynamically generated using algorithms or are sent to users via secure channels, ensuring real-time authentication.

How OTP Works

My1Login integrates OTP as a fundamental element of our multi-factor authentication (MFA) solutions. Here's a breakdown of how OTP works within the Identity & Access Management (IAM) framework:

  1. User Initiation
    When a user attempts to access a secured resource or application, My1Login prompts them for authentication. This typically involves entering a combination of a static password and a dynamic OTP. A variety of OTP options are available to suit your organisation, including Google Authenticator.

  2. Dynamic OTP Generation
    My1Login dynamically generates a unique OTP which is securely delivered to the user through various channels, such as SMS, email, or a dedicated authentication app (depending on your OPT solution). My1Login prioritises secure delivery methods to prevent interception by unauthorised entities.  

  3. Single-Use Authentication
    The user enters the received OTP within the specified timeframe. Once used, the OTP becomes invalid for future authentication attempts, reinforcing the concept of a one-time password.  

  4. Enhanced Security Layers
    My1Login combines OTP with other authentication factors, such as biometrics which creates a robust MFA environment, significantly enhancing the overall security of IAM processes.  

Benefits of OTP

One-time passwords sidestep some of the typical issues associated with password security. With OTPs, IT administrators and security managers can spend less time worrying about composition rules, known-bad and weak passwords, credential sharing, and the reuse of the same password across multiple accounts and systems.

Other advantages of using One Time Passwords in your business include:

Increased security
OTP adds an additional layer of security beyond traditional passwords, mitigating the risks associated with password-based cyber attacks.

Time-sensitive protection
The time-sensitive nature of OTPs reduces the window of vulnerability, making it challenging for attackers to reuse codes.

Dynamic authentication
The dynamic nature of OTPs ensures that even if a password is compromised, unauthorised access is thwarted without the valid OTP.

My1Login's implementation of OTP is designed with user experience in mind, balancing security with ease of use for seamless authentication.

Securing Digital Identities With OTP

The role of One Time Passwords is crucial in the Identity & Access Management world. My1Login, is a trusted IAM partner and recognises the importance of OTP in fortifying digital identities and ensuring secure access to critical resources. By seamlessly integrating OTP into multi-factor authentication solutions, My1Login leads the way in enhancing cybersecurity for businesses.

If you’re looking to find out more about OTP or understand how we use OTP to help organisations manage and secure their digital identities, then get in touch with us today.

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