What is TOTP and How Does it Work?

TOTP

With the evolution of technology and the internet of things, fraudulent activities are becoming very common. To protect the users from these activities, cybersecurity has become more and more critical than ever. It helps to ensure safety for the users. Are you concerned about these devious activities and want some security for your account and transactions?

What is a TOTP?

TOTP refers to Time-based One Time Password and is a common form of two-factor authentication. It is a unique numeric password that is generated with a standardized algorithm. TOTP’s are available offline and provide user-friendly and secure accounts. The passcode will be valid for a limited time duration. TOTP is also known as app-based authentication or software token.

One Time Password for Two Factor Authentication

Two-factor authentication is essential, as it helps to add an extra layer of security for account protection by enforcing access through a second level of independent validation. The one-time passwords help to increase the safety of the user’s account. The two-factor authentication method is more secure as the user/criminal will need the regular as well the one-time password to access anyone’s account. There are two methods to get a OTP Authentication which include:

SMS-based authentication

Under this method, the user has to use the code received on the Phone SMS in addition to the regular password to get the access.  Since the OTP flows only to the registered Mobile number that is authenticated at the back end via application database the secure access is enforced automatically.  Following features are additionally available on SMS OTP for enhanced security

  • Generation and validation of OTP through AES 256 algorithm, this is generally used by Banks and financial institutions.  In addition the OTP generation system can be maintained in an independent system away from the core system to create a degree of separation.
  • Keeping the number of digits configurable. E.g. the code has flexibility to generate 4 digit or 6 digit OTP values even as it avoids generating easily remembered values.
  • Time based expiry of the OTP ensures that the OTP are not authenticated if a certain period of time has elapsed and that the user has to regenerate the OTP through a new request.

Request a Demo for More Information

TOTP-based authentication

TOTP is a viable method of authentication and is also used by many people to ensure safety. In this method, the user scans the QR code using a scanning application to ensure security. The application then generates a one time password. The TOTP-based is becoming popular compared to the SMS-based because of the advantages of the Time-based One Time Password method.  Here in this method scanning time becomes an important input to the application that generates the OTP.

How the TOTP-Based Method Works

With the TOTP method, users always have access to their one-time password through an application installed on their mobile device, preventing the server from sending a text message whenever a user tries to log in. Moreover, the generated password changes after a certain period of time.

When the user enables two-factor authentication, the password is generated through the following ways:

  1. The backend server creates a secret key for the user.
  2. The server then shares the secret key with the user’s phone application.
  3. Phone application initializes a counter.
  4. The phone application will then generate a one time password using the secret key and counter.
  5. The application changes the counter after a specific interval and regenerates the OTP, making it a dynamic process.
  6. Timing becomes an important input here and both the local application and the server application generate the code independently using the timestamp.  Since timestamp is unique the authentication takes place only when the value keyed in by the user ( the one that is on the local application ) matches the value generated on the server application.

TOTP is an excellent way of providing the user with a good experience and strong authentication. There are many OTP service providers in India. mTalkz is known to provide a faster way of communication to authenticate the users. Moreover, they even guarantee OTP delivery in 15 seconds which offers ease in a transaction. mTalkz helps its users to send OTP to their customers in a secure manner using HTTPS protocols. They offer their services across the world in more than 225 countries. For authentic OTP service, partner with mTalkz now. For more details, you can visit the website today!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.