Here is today' definition.
From whatis.com June 17, 2014
MFA (multifactor authentication) is a security system that requires more than one form of authentication to verify the legitimacy of a transaction.
Multifactor authentication combines two or more independent credentials: what the user knows (password), what the user has (security token) and what the user is (biometric verification).
The goal of MFA is to create a layered defense and make it more difficult for an unauthorized person to access a target such as a physical location, computing device, network or database. If one factor is compromised or broken, the attacker still has at least one more barrier to breach before successfully breaking into the target.
In the past, MFA systems typically relied upon two-factor authentication. Because consumers are increasingly using mobile devices for banking and shopping, however, physical and logical security concerns have converged. This, in turn, has created more interest in three-factor authentication.
Typical MFA scenarios include:
Swiping a card and entering a PIN.
Downloading a VPN client with a valid digital certificate and logging into the VPN before being granted access to a network.
Logging into a website and being requested to enter an additional one-time password that the website's server sends to the requester's phone.
Swiping a card, scanning a fingerprint and answering a security question.
Attaching a USB hardware token to a desktop that generates a one-time password (OTP) and using the OTP to log into a VPN client.
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