Centralized providers of two-factor authentication services are being challenged by a brand-new solution that’s based on the blockchain.
A startup says it offers two-factor authentication on blockchain for the very first time.
Shield Protocol is taking on the likes of Authy and Google Authenticator — and offers security while eliminating data collection and centralized storage. A simple interface also means it’s a tool that will be accessible for everyday users.
The project is based on Binance Smart Chain and is currently in the process of integrating with Polygon. It also offers a dedicated wallet where multiple cryptocurrency assets can be stored securely.
Across the crypto community (and in the fiat world,) security experts have been hammering home the importance of two-factor authentication in keeping accounts safe. This technology adds a layer of protection by effectively adding another lock before funds can be accessed. For example, entering a password into an exchange’s website may prompt the user to enter in an automatically generated six-digit code through a devoted authenticator app.
These apps are generally regarded as a safer alternative than two-factor authentication via SMS, not least because of how cell phone numbers can be spoofed, giving users a false sense of security.
One crucial factor that decides the success of two-factor authentication is whether or not it is easy to use. A complicated interface that’s a hassle to use can put users off, meaning they put themselves at risk.
Comparing its offering with well-known rivals, Shield Protocol says it provides a backup feature in case users lose their phone or delete the app. Two-factor authentication backup is integrated on Binance Smart Chain rather than on centralized servers. All they need to do is type in the private key of their connected wallet for everything to be fully restored.
The project also says that the fact it is based on blockchain helps reduce the risk of a data breach where personal information collected by companies is used to target victims.
And, despite being based on the blockchain, Shield Protocol says it is compatible with some of the world’s most popular online platforms. They include crypto exchanges such as Binance and Coinbase, social networks like Facebook and Twitter, and e-commerce platforms such as Amazon.
The project told Cointelegraph: “We’re targeting more than four billion users who have online accounts — whether it’s a social network, a trading account or a bank account. Everyone needs 2FA, and every website that offers 2FA can be connected through Shield Protocol.”
MORE INSIGHTS FROM SHIELD PROTOCOL HERE
Shield Protocol says it offers strong four-tier encryption — adding that its fully functional apps for iOS and Android have already been downloaded more than 30,000 times, attracting over 12,000 monthly active users in the process.
A plethora of new features are planned for the next 12 months, including staking, an NFT platform and bridges to other blockchains.
Eliminating the creeping tide of centralization in security measures is one of Shield Protocol’s top priorities, especially following a spate of high-profile hacks and leaks. The exposure of passwords can be particularly dangerous for those who use passwords across multiple accounts.
Shield’s approach to two-factor authentication is said to lack a single point of failure because of how data records are distributed across a decentralized network.
Throughout this year, a suite of products will be unveiled that turns Shield into a fully functional ecosystem. Desktop apps are going to be unveiled for Windows, Mac OS and Linux, with an aggressive social marketing campaign to help spread the word. New security tools will also be added to its app, and executives plan to form partnerships with key industry players.
Shield Protocol’s CEO Rahul Sharma is pursuing a PhD in artificial intelligence. He is a cybersecurity expert with more than 10 years’ experience, and this product is part of his research findings.