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Modern Two-Factor Authentication With Retro Delivery

After officially releasing Authy OneTouch in 2015, we knew we moved the needle forward when it came to easier to use two-factor authentication. Many of our engineers and executives probably thought it couldn’t get any better. However, as we strive to constantly improve the security experience, we looked back to a simpler time for inspiration.

Today, we’re proud to announce the beta launch of our latest security product: Authy 2FAXtor, a new way to protect your online accounts by combining the security of 2FA with the personal (and retro) experience of facsimile delivery. Built on Twilio’s new Fax API, Authy is the first among our competitors to deliver such security, made even stronger by the fact that unlike other 2FA technology, faxes are not currently targeted by hackers.

“The idea came to me while my children and I were watching “Back to the Future Part II,” recalls Simon Thorpe, Twilio’s Director of Authentication Product. “It was during the part in which Marty McFly was fired by fax. I remembered that the fax machine was the high-tech device of its day, and was positive that it could be again.”

Interestingly, the origins of facsimile technology go back even further. In 1843, Scottish inventor Alexander Bain synchronized the movement of two clock pendulums for line-by-line scanning of a message. While Bain was far ahead of his time, his idea fits perfectly in line with today’s current 2FA needs.

In fact, millions of fax machines remain in use, and the technology is still quite big in Japan, especially in banking and real estate. Because of this, we felt the need to bring 2FA protection to everyone, no matter how they communicate and compute.

Authy engineers have been hard at work to quickly get this idea to market, a process slowed down because many of our staff are too young to even remember what a fax machine was. Here’s how our security-by-fax solution works:

  1. Open Authy 2FAXtor in a PC or mobile device browser and click on Register
  2. No physical fax machine? You can use an online fax service from HelloFax.
  3. Input personal data (username, mobile number, etc).
  4. Initiate Authy 2FAXtor.
  5. Get protected!

“The best part about our new product is how well it fits into today’s active lifestyle,” adds Simon. “Unlike typical 2FA tokens that regenerate after 20 seconds, which can  stress users who try to enter them before they disappear, Authy 2FAXtor codes remain active for 10 minutes!”

Try Authy 2FAXtor today!

About the author Simon Thorpe

Simon works in the product group at Authy and has over 15 years of experience in the security and identity management space. Working at companies like Oracle, Microsoft and Okta, he has spent a lot of time understanding and architecting solutions to secure all sorts of information. At Authy he works closely with the whole team to deliver a world class solution for developers to build security into their applications.

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