In several horror movies, there are scenes of possessions where an unknown entity takes over a person’s consciousness. Evil Dead (1981), for instance, depicts scenes of possessions that are quite frightening to watch. While such cases might not be that common in real life, similar cases frequently occur in the digital world, particularly in the form of Account Takeover (ATO). According to Payments Industry Intelligence, ATO rose by 80% in 2019. Given such urgency, institutions have relied on numerous security measures to counter cyberattacks.
The Reliance on One-Time Passwords (OTP)
A security measure that is widely used all over the world is One-Time Password (OTP), which Taptalk.io concisely defines as “a mechanism for logging into a network or service with a unique password that can only be used once.” Since OTP uses random numbers, to a certain level, OTP provides more security than passwords created by users themselves. Simply put, OTP is a decent security measure. Additionally, since it utilizes SMS, which can reach virtually any cell phones, OTP is accessible to anyone anywhere.
Nonetheless, the OTP system isn’t a perfect one. A lot of security experts have found loopholes in the OTP system. Quoted by Unbound Security, the US National Institute of Standards and Technology urged that institutions should refrain from using OTP for verifying user identities. Security Intelligence also quoted an article in which it stated that OTP theft bots had an 80% efficacy rate. Aside from OTP’s vulnerabilities, multiple attempts of inputting incorrect password by hackers can result in users being locked out of their own accounts for a while.
Phone Number Verification (PNV): An Alternative
As an alternative to OTP, Phone Number Verification (PNV) can be a measure that provides another layer of security during the identity verification process. PNV validates a user’s identity using MSISDN and SIM Card by utilizing secure telco network information. Due to this mechanism, PNV is a silent and seamless security method that does not require the generation of any passwords. Furthermore, since it doesn’t rely on randomly generated passwords, the system eliminates the risk of password theft that is commonly found in OTP.
For businesses, PNV also comes with a lot of benefits. First of all, it reduces completion time by 50%, as it saves up to 30 seconds for user registrations and logins. This efficiency also improves customer experience. Aside from that, Boku.com revealed that the use of PNV can result in a 15% increase in conversion. Being an efficient security method, PNV also has led to zero ATO incidents, which is a remarkable trend. Last but not least, since it verifies users seamlessly, PNV removes user actions required by OTP, resulting in less confusion by users.
PNV vs OTP: Which one is better?
There are various methods to secure users’ identities and login processes. However, the most commonly used method as of 2022 is OTP. Despite its popularity, a lot of security experts have argued that PNV is a significantly better alternative to OTP. In addition to being a seamless method that requires less amount of time, PNV also provides a higher level of security for both business and user sides. PNV also shares a similar level of accessibility when compared to OTP. As a product, PNV’s versatility is proven as it can be applied to various use cases.
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