OTP vs Password: Which one is safer?

The term “Password” must be familiar to all our readers. Certainly! It protects accounts from being stolen. What about OTP (One-Time Password)? What differs Password and OTP, which one is safer?

Password in the digital landscape is a unique compound of letters that permits its notable users to connect to any kind of computer and application system. A strong password consists of 8-15 combination characters of A-Z, numeric and even symbols. The initial purpose is giving out a credential and independency to its holder, whether to lock or unlock any information, anytime. As we all may notice, we often use passwords to lock and unlock our door locks, safety deposit boxes, and many more. As for adoption, in this digital landscape passwords are used to secure users’ digital accounts. Hence, the words “Safety”,” Unique” and “Unencrypted” are entities that stick in every users’ minds.

Password security gets a noticeable remark from both digital asset providers and users. Cyber threads become malicious. The presence of Brute Force Attack hacking users’ passwords has raised a red flag to every digital asset provider and industry such as banking, database, cloud, and even mobile application developers. Based on IBM Security X-Force Research, Brute Force attackers will try a litany of common usernames and passwords, well-known default credentials, and passwords derived from a dictionary to collect passwords. The target could be a local console, an encrypted file or a service across a network, such as a social media account. Users as the valuable assets of the technology industry would be exposed and disadvantaged from the attack. Users’ data need to be protected. And one of the ways to address this issue is by providing an additional security layer to the digital accounts.

One-Time Password or the “OTP” is claimed to be an additional security layer. It is unique, unencrypted and having a short-period of expiry, a maximum of 10 minutes each time one code is generated. By using a short period of expiry system OTPs are claimed to be more secure in terms of users’ accessibility towards each generated number code. Once it generates numbers, the second time it generates different numbers and so on. OTPs are usually sent by using more secure media such as SMS or a security token device- a small device looks like a pager that generates numbers. These two media are claimed to be more secure because of the use of out-of-band data, a different channel data network to deliver the codes. Many digital assets providers adopting OTP as their second layer of security. Generally, it is well-known in financial institutions in which personal information disclosure is kept mandatory and classified. Recently, the use of OTP outside financial institutions is a common practice.

The digital ecosystem and technology have pushed the whole system to evolve. Technology is used to help us do things better, faster and more secure. OTP adds value in security and helps to prevent security’s vulnerability from being attacked. Digital technology producers and users need to make sure the accounts they are using or producing are safe enough and have additional security layers to protect users’ valuable database and information.

Both passwords and OTP come up with the same purpose as to give out independency and authentication for every credible user. Both systems tackle the most malicious threat in the digital landscape and protect valuable data disclosure. Either password or OTP can stand on its own, independently. Combining both of them create two-factors verification security that is more secure for users. Users might have accidentally exposed their passwords with their family members even unrelated family members. Yet, when the system has applied this additional security layers such as OTP, it is safer.

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