Multi-factor authentication (MFA), often referred to as Two-factor authentication (2FA), is an extra layer of security designed to be used alongside your traditional username/email and password login. By adding another verification step to the login process, you can prevent an unauthorised user from accessing your account, even if they know your username/email and password.

Unlike your username/email and password, which is something only you know, MFA verification asks you to provide something only you have - a physical device, like your phone or a USB device. Some services can also verify something you are - for example your fingerprint or face. For more information, see the CERT NZ guide.

Three verification methods are supported by Common Web Platform Dashboard:

Authenticator apps (TOTP)

An authenticator app is installed on your phone which generates temporary single-use passcodes needed for MFA verification. Each code is usable for only a short period of time before a new one is automatically generated.

Security keys (WebAuthn)

A security key is a physical device, such as a USB key, that is activated during MFA verification. This may involve plugging the device into your computer or bringing the key in range of a compatible device supporting wireless communications (NFC). To use a security key you must log in using a supported browser over HTTPS.

Recovery codes

Recovery codes are a backup verification method. In the event that you lose access to your other verification methods, a recovery code can be used to regain access to your account. A set of codes will be provided to you when you first set up an MFA verification method on your account. You can only use each of these codes once, and they should be stored somewhere safe.

Was this article helpful?