Hardware Authentication Home Cybersecurity Dictionary Hardware Authentication Hardware authentication is an approach to user authentication that relies on a dedicated physical device (such as a token) held by an authorized user, in addition to a basic password, to grant access to computer resources. The required device generates a unique and temporary cryptographic code that must be input by the user, in addition to a password, to gain access to a computer resource. The combination of the hardware authentication device and the password constitute a 2FA (2-factor authentication) system. Without the code, a hacker that has stolen a user's password will not be able to gain access to a protected system. One problem with hardware based authentication devices is that they can be lost or stolen, which can create login issues for legitimate users. Some alternatives to hardware based authentication include software based (which uses an app on a mobile phone or desktop to create the temporary codes) or SMS (which sends an SMS message to an associated mobile phone for user confirmation before an identity can be authenticated). Each system of authentication has unique advantages and disadvantages. Related Terms2FA (2-factor authentication) and MFA (multi-factor authentication)IAM - Identity and Access ManagementPAM - Privileged Access ManagementSSO - Single Sign OnIGA - Identity Governance and AdminDAG - Data Access GovernanceAdaptive Authentication Share: Seeking Clarity? View the Cybersecurity Dictionary for top terms searched by your peers. Back to the Dictionary RELATED INSIGHTS BLOG October 18, 2018 Reading Obscure Memory Extracting data from memory chips is always an exciting part of any hardware assessment. I have a few chip readers at my disposal which can do the hea... See Details Read more about Reading Obscure Memory BLOG February 06, 2018 What Is SSL Web Inspection and Where Should It Occur? (Part 3) In parts one and two of this blog series, I provided an overview of SSL web inspection, and dove deeper into how SSL inspection solutions work and met... See Details Read more about What Is SSL Web Inspection and Where Should It Occur? (Part 3) BLOG January 29, 2018 What Is SSL Web Inspection and Where Should It Occur? (Part 2) Hardware will vary between vendors and even different models within a vendor’s catalog. Some models/vendors will offload complex CPU tasks (decryption... See Details Read more about What Is SSL Web Inspection and Where Should It Occur? (Part 2) How Can We Help? Let us know what you need, and we will have an Optiv professional contact you shortly.