Identifying Authentication Factors

Posted by in Security+ | 0 comments

Authentication is often simplified as types, or factors, of authentication. Entities can authenticate with any one of these factors, and administrators often combine two factors for dual-factor authentication, and two or more factors for multifactor authentication. If you’re planning to take the Security+ exam, you should have a basic understanding of selecting appropriate authentication factors.

For example, can you answer this question?

Q. Your network infrastructure requires users to authenticate with something they are and something they know. Which of the following choices BEST describes this authentication method?

A. Passwords

B. Dual-factor

C. Biometrics

D. Diameter

More, do you know why the correct answer is correct and the incorrect answers are incorrect. The answer and explanation is available at the end of this post.

Security+ Practice Test Questions

SYO-501 Practice Test Questions Now Available

SYO-401 Practice Test Questions

Over 440 realistic Security+ practice test questions

All questions include explanations so you'll know why the correct answers are correct,

and why the incorrect answers are incorrect.

Pass the Security+ Exam

the First Time You Take It

Multiple quiz formats to let you use these questions based on the way you learn.
  • Learn mode - randomized. View each of the questions in random order. Learn mode allows you to keep selecting answers until you select the correct answer. Once you select the correct answer, you'll see the explanation. Click here to see how learn mode works.
  • Learn mode - not randomized. View each of the questions in the same order. Use this if you want to make sure that you see all of the questions. Learn mode allows you to keep selecting answers until you select the correct answer. Once you select the correct answer, you'll see the explanation. Click here to see how learn mode works.
  • Test mode - randomized. View each of the questions in random order. In test mode, you can only see the correct answers and explanations after you complete the test. Click here to see how test mode works.
  • Test mode - not randomized. View each of the questions in the same order. In test mode, you can only see the correct answers and explanations after you complete the test. Click here to see how test mode works.
  • Test mode - 100 random questions. View 100 random questions from the full test bank similar to how the Security+ exam has a potential maximum of 100 multiple choice questions. In test mode, you can only see the correct answers and explanations after you complete the test. Click here to see how test mode works.

Get the full bank of Security+ (SYO-401) Practice Test Questions Here

 SYO-401 Practice Test Questions


INCLUDES QUESTIONS TO HELP YOU PREPARE

FOR THE NEW PERFORMANCE BASED QUESTIONS 

Bonus - Performance Based Questions

Additional Security+ questions to help you prepare for the new performance based questions. These are included with the full bank of Security+ practice test questions and are divided into different sections. For example, you'll have access to the following links:

- Performance Based Question - Set 1

You'll see a graphic explaining what you might be required to do on the actual exam to match different types of security to mobile devices and servers in a data center. You'll then have two questions that test your knowledge and ability to correctly answer the questions. This question also includes a link to a graphic showing the end solution for the overall performance based question simulation.

- Performance Based Question - Set 2

You'll see a graphic explaining what you might be required to do on the actual exam to match different types of attacks with the name of the attack type. You'll then have five questions that test your knowledge and ability to correctly answer the questions. This question also includes a link to a graphic showing the end solution for the overall performance based question simulation.

- Performance Based Question - Set 3

You'll see a graphic showing a network with computers and servers separated by a firewall. The firewall is used to control traffic between the computers and users using rules within an access control list (ACL).  You'll have three questions that test your knowledge and ability to correctly identify the relevant components of the rule. The incorrect answers and explanation provide you with insight into how to correctly answer this type of question on the actual exam.

- Performance Based Question - Set 4

You'll see a graphic explaining what you might be required to do on the actual exam related to what a forensic analyst would do during an investigation. You'll then have two questions that test your knowledge and ability to correctly answer the questions. This question also includes a link to a graphic showing the end solution for the overall performance based question simulation.

- Performance Based Question - Set 5

You'll see a graphic explaining what you might be required to do on the actual exam to match protocols and ports. You'll then have seven questions that test your knowledge and ability to correctly answer the questions. This question also includes a link to a graphic showing the end solution for the overall performance based question simulation.

- Performance Based Question - Set 6

You'll see a list of security controls along with a graphic showing devices and locations within an organization, along with instructions on what you might be required to do on the actual exam to match the controls with the devices and locations. You'll then have four questions that test your knowledge and ability to correctly answer the questions. This question also includes a link to a graphic showing the end solution for the overall performance based question simulation.

- Performance Based Question - Set 7

You'll see a list of authentication methods and authentication factors along with instructions on what you might be required to do on the actual exam to match the authentication methods with the authentication factors. You'll then have six questions that test your knowledge and ability to correctly answer the questions. This set also includes a link to a graphic showing the end solution for the overall performance based question simulation.

- Performance Based Question - Set 8

You'll see a graphic explaining what you might be required to do on the actual exam to match different types of attacks with the name of the attack type. You'll then have five questions that test your knowledge and ability to correctly answer the questions. This is similar to Set 2 but expands on the possibilities. The set also includes a link to a page showing the end solution for the overall performance based question simulation.

New - Performance Based Question - Set 9

New questions recently added using a different testing engine. See a demo here. This set includes drag and drop and matching questions on ports.

New - Performance Based Question - Set 10

A random set of 20 performance-based questions using drag and drop, matching, sorting, and fill in-the blank. This set includes performance-based questions on RAID.

Get the full bank of Security+ (SYO-401) Practice Test Questions Here

Get the full bank of Security+ Practice Test Questions

Click here if you're looking for SYO-501 Practice Test Questions

Dual-Factor and Multifactor Authentication

Dual-factor authentication (sometimes called two-factor authentication) uses two different factors of authentication such as something you have and something you know. Dual-factor authentication often uses a smart card and a PIN, a USB token and a PIN, or combining a smart card or hardware token with a password. In each of these cases, the user must have something and know something.

Identifying Authentication Factors

Multifactor authentication uses two or more factors of authentication. For example, you can combine the something you are factor with one or more other factors of authentication.

Note that technically you can call an authentication system using two different factors either dual-factor authentication or multifactor authentication. Multifactor authentication indicates multiple factors and multiple is simply more than one.

It’s worth noting that using two methods of authentication in the same factor is not dual-factor authentication. For example, requiring users to enter a password and a PIN (both in the something you know factor) is single-factor authentication, not dual-factor authentication. Similarly, using a thumbprint and a retina scan is not dual-factor authentication.

Remember this

Two or more methods in the same factor of authentication (such as a PIN and a password) is single-factor authentication. Dual-factor (or two-factor) authentication uses two different factors such as a USB token and a PIN. Multifactor authentication uses two or more factors.

CompTIA Security+ Study Guide

The 401 Version of the Study Guide

SY0-401 Study GuideThe CompTIA Security+: Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-401 Study Guide is an update to the top-selling SY0-201 and SY0-301 study guides, which have helped thousands of readers pass the exam the first time they took it.

CompTIA Authorized Quality Content (CAQC)After a comprehensive review by ProCert Labs, the SY0-401 version has been certified as CompTIA Approved Quality Content (CAQC) and covers every aspect of the SY0-401 exam.

It includes the same elements readers raved about in the previous two versions.

Each of the eleven chapters presents topics in an easy to understand manner and includes real-world examples of security principles in action.

You’ll understand the important and relevant security topics for the Security+ exam, without being overloaded with unnecessary details. Additionally, each chapter includes a comprehensive review section to help you focus on what’s important.


Click for Free Preview


Over 400 realistic practice test questions with in-depth explanations will help you test your comprehension and readiness for the exam. The book includes:

  • A 100 question pre-test
  • A 100 question post-test
  • Practice test questions at the end of every chapter.

Each practice test question includes a detailed explanation to help you understand the content and the reasoning behind the question. You’ll be ready to take and pass the exam the first time you take it.

If you plan to pursue any of the advanced security certifications, this guide will also help you lay a solid foundation of security knowledge. Learn this material, and you’ll be a step ahead for other exams. This SY0-401 study guide is for any IT or security professional interested in advancing in their field, and a must read for anyone striving to master the basics of IT security.

Kindle edition also available.

Are you looking for SYO-501 Study Guide?

The 501 Version of the Study Guide is Now Available. Click Here.

Something You Have Factor

The something you have authentication factor refers to something you can physically hold. This smart cards, CAC, and PIV.

Smart Cards

Smart cards are credit card-sized cards that have an embedded microchip and a certificate. Users insert the smart card into a smart card reader, similar to how someone would insert a credit card into a credit card reader. The smart card reader reads the information on the card, including the details from the certificate.

The embedded certificate allows the use of a complex encryption key and provides much more secure authentication than is possible with a simple password. Additionally, the certificate can be used with digital signatures and data encryption. The smart card provides confidentiality, integrity, authentication, and non-repudiation.

Requirements for a smart card are:

  • Embedded certificate. The embedded certificate holds a user’s private key (which is only accessible to the user) and is matched with a public key (that is publicly available to others). The private key is used each time the user logs on to a network.
  • Public Key Infrastructure (PKI). Chapter 10 covers PKI in more depth, but in short, the PKI supports issuing and managing certificates.

Smart cards are often used with another factor of authentication. For example, a user may also enter a PIN or password, in addition to using the smart card. Because the smart card is in the something you have factor and the PIN is in the something you know factor, this combination is dual-factor authentication.

Get Certified Get Ahead

CACs and PIVs

A Common Access Card (CAC) is a specialized type of smart card used by the U.S. Department of Defense. In addition to including the capabilities of a smart card, it also includes a picture of a user and other readable information. Users can use the CAC as a form of photo identification to gain access into a secure location. For example, they can show their CAC to guards who are protecting access to secure areas. Once inside the secure area, users can use the CAC as a smart card to log on to computers.

Similarly, a Personal Identity Verification (PIV) card is a specialized type of smart card used by U.S. federal agencies. It also includes photo identification and provides confidentiality, integrity, authentication, and non-repudiation for the users, just as a CAC does.

CACs and PIVs both support dual-factor authentication (sometimes called two-factor authentication) because users generally log on with the smart card and by entering information they know such as a password. Additionally, these cards include embedded certificates used for digital signatures and encryption.

Remember this

Smart cards are often used with dual-factor authentication where users have something (the smart card) and know something (such as a password or PIN). Smart cards include embedded certificates used with digital signatures and encryption. CACs and PIVs are specialized smart cards that include photo identification. They are used to gain access into secure locations and to log on to computer systems.


Full Security+ (SY0-401) Course

Full Security+ Course Now Available

Helping you Pass the First Time

Online access includes all of the content from the

CompTIA Security+: Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-401 Study Guide

  • Introduction
  • About the exam (including types of questions and strategies for performance-based questions)
  • 100 question pre-assessment exam
  • Mastering Security Basics (full content from Chapter 1 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 20 practice test questions)
  • Exploring Control Types and Methods (full content from Chapter 2 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 20 practice test questions)
  • Understanding Basic Network Security (full content from Chapter 3 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 20 practice test questions)
  • Securing Your Network (full content from Chapter 4 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 20 practice test questions)
  • Securing Hosts and Data (full content from Chapter 5 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 20 practice test questions)
  • Understanding Malware and Social Engineering (full content from Chapter 6 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 20 practice test questions)
  • Identifying Advanced Attacks (full content from Chapter 7 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 20 practice test questions)
  • Managing Risk (full content from Chapter 8 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 20 practice test questions)
  • Preparing for Business Continuity (full content from Chapter 9 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 20 practice test questions)
  • Understanding Cryptography (full content from Chapter 10 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 20 practice test questions)
  • Exploring Operational Security (full content from Chapter 11 of the study guide including the exam topic review and 20 practice test questions)
  • 100 question post-assessment exam
  • Security+ Acronyms

Get the Full Security+ Course Here

 Full Security+ Course Now Available


Test your readiness with these quality materials

Random 100-question tests

Random practice tests from the all of the practice test questions in the CompTIA Security+: Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-401 Study Guide. All questions include explanations so you'll know why the correct answers are correct, and why the incorrect answers are incorrect.

34 Simulated Performance-based Questions

Eight sets of performance-based questions with multiple questions in each set. These questions help you understand and prepare for performance based questions.

22 Realistic Performance-based Questions

Two new sets of performance-based questions with a total of 22 questions. These new questions use a new testing engine that includes realistic drag and drop, matching, sorting, and fill in the blank questions.

Flashcard Set

  • 273 Security+ Flashcards to reinforce key testable concepts
  • 280 Security+ acronyms flashcards to help you master the required acronyms
  • 204 Security+ Remember This slides

Audio - SY0-401 Security+ Remember This Audio Files

Learn by Listening. Over one hour and 15 minutes of audio (MP3 downloads.)

Audio - SY0-401 Security+ Question and Answer Audio Files

Learn by Listening. Over three hours hour and 15 minutes of audio (MP3 downloads.)

Bonus #1

Audio from the end of chapter reviews from each of the chapters in the CompTIA Security+: Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-401 Study Guide. Over one hour and 15 minutes of additional audio.

Bonus #2

Subnetting mini-tutorial that will help you answer two key question types:
  • Identify how many hosts a subnet supports
  • Identify valid IP addresses within a subnet

Bonus #3 

Access the study materials for a total of 60 days because sometimes life happens.

Get the Full Security+ Course Here

Q. Your network infrastructure requires users to authenticate with something they are and something they know. Which of the following choices BEST describes this authentication method?

A. Passwords

B. Dual-factor

C. Biometrics

D. Diameter

Answer is B. This is dual-factor authentaication because users must authenticate with two different factors of authentication (something you are and something you know).

Passwords are in the something you know factor and biometrics are in the something you are factor, but the scenario includes both factors, not just one.

Diameter is a remote access authentication service that supports Extensible Authentication Protocol (EAP).

See Chapter 1 of the CompTIA Security+: Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-401 Study Guide for more information on authentication concepts.

Leave a Comment

CompTIA Security+: Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-401 Study Guide

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list and get a free excerpt of the CompTIA Security+: Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-401 Study Guide.  This excerpt includes the introduction and Chapter 1. 

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Get Certified Get Ahead is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program,
an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

Copyright © 2015 Get Certified Get Ahead. All Rights Reserved.