VPN token definition
A VPN token is a one-time password (OTP) generated by a security device for accessing a VPN. It acts as a 2-factor authenticator, ensuring that a device is authorized to connect to a VPN network. Using VPN tokens adds an additional layer of authentication to the login process, making it harder for attackers to gain unauthorized access to a network.
VPN token types
VPN tokens are available in both hardware and software formats, and they use a variety of authentication methods to generate OTPs:
- Hardware tokens: small portable physical devices that generate one-time passwords.
- Software tokens: apps that run on a user’s smartphone or laptop and generate one-time passwords. Software tokens are often more convenient than hardware tokens because users do not need to carry a separate device with them.
- SMS tokens: one-time passwords that are sent to a user’s mobile phone as a text message. SMS tokens are often used as a backup option when other types of tokens are not available.
- Smart cards: credit-card-sized devices that contain a microprocessor and a digital certificate or an encryption key, used to authenticate a user’s identity.
- Biometric tokens: using biometric information, like fingerprints or facial recognition, to authenticate a user. Biometric tokens are often used in combination with other types of tokens for added security.