Definition

one-time password (OTP)

Part of the Network security glossary:

A one-time password (OTP) is an automatically generated numeric or alphanumeric string of characters that authenticates the user for a single transaction or session.

An OTP is more secure than a static password, especially a user-created password, which is typically weak. OTPs may replace authentication login information or may be used in addition to it, to add another layer of security. 

OTP tokens are usually pocket-size fobs with a small screen that displays a number. The number changes every 30 or 60 seconds, depending on how the token is configured. For two-factor authentication, the user enters his user ID, PIN and the OTP to access the system. 

OTP mobile apps are also available.

 

This was last updated in September 2013
Contributor(s): Ivy Wigmore
Posted by: Margaret Rouse

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