Security Tokens: An Overview

Key points

  • Introduction to Security Tokens
  • Some Real-World Examples of Security Token
  • Security Tokens Drawbacks

Security Tokens can be defined as portable devices that are used to authenticate a person’s id. This is done electronically by storing the personal information of the user. Security tokens grant users access to a network only when they are plugged into a system. A security token is issued by Security Token services (STS). 

Introduction to Security Tokens

Security tokens can be available in the form of wireless Bluetooth tokens or programmable electronic keys (used to activate devices like cars remotely), and hardware tokens. Hardware token contains chips that are plugged into USB ports. 

Disconnected tokens allow users to gain access by simply entering the information from the token manually into the system. Connected tokens, on the other hand, work automatically and transmit information electronically once they are connected to the system. 

Some Key Facts

  • Security tokens are used to authenticate a user electronically by storing his personal information. 
  • They can be used to prove the owner’s identity, it can be used either instead of a password or with a password. 
  • They are not completely secure and are prone to hacks; they can also be stolen or maybe lost. 

Some Real-World Examples of Security Token

Security Tokens are best used to access sensitive network systems such as a bank. When used with another authentication method, it can prove to be more secure.  

Security Tokens are also used to secure cryptocurrencies. In cryptocurrency, Security Tokens are used to store cryptographic keys, a system most commonly used in Bitcoin. Some use time-sensitive passwords that get reset after regular time intervals. Some also utilize biometric data, which will ensure that only the Security Token owner can gain access to the protected network or information. 

Security Tokens Drawbacks

Like every technology, a security token is also not completely secure. Security Tokens can be lost or stolen thus granting access to information to the person who has stolen it. Owners must take necessary steps to prevent theft of Security Tokens. Steps such as locks and alarms, or using a two-factor authentication method in which a user is only able to gain access to the network if he has both the token and password to gain access are used. 

Hacking of Security Tokens is another threat associated with them. This usually occurs when a user unknowingly shares his personal information with an unauthorized person. The information is then utilized to gain access to the secure network or information. Such an attack is known as man-in-the-middle fraud and all the networks connected on the internet are prone to this attack.       

Disclaimer: The article is just to provide information and shouldn’t be considered as any financial advice. It is advisable to conduct thorough research before investing in any cryptocurrency.

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