Securing Django with multi factor authentication using Django-MFA

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What is MFA?

Multifactor authentication (MFA) is a security system that requires more than one method of authentication to verify the user’s identity for a login or other transaction.

Why go for MFA?

One of the major problems with traditional user ID and password login is the need to maintain a password database. Whether encrypted or not, if the database is captured it provides the hacker with a source to verify his guesses at speeds limited only by his hardware resources. Given enough time, a captured password database will fall. To avoid this break we do prefer multifactor authentication.

Multifactor Authentication Technologies:

There are multiple ways we could get the MFA like using hardware devices that the user carries to authorize access to a network service. Software-based security token applications that generate a single-use login PIN. Soft tokens are often used for multifactor mobile authentication, in which the device itself – such as a smartphone – provides the possession factor or  SMS messages and phone calls sent to a user as an out-of-band method, smartphone OTP apps.

In the current blog post, we see how to implement MFA in Django.

How can we implement MFA in Django:

We do have an awesome package developed in Django called DjangoMFA. That gives us the flexibility of how to setting up MFA. We can generate two types of passwords in Django-MFA one is HMAC-based One Time Password (HOTP) and Time-based One-time Password Algorithm (TOTP). In this blog post, we will see how to enable the TOTP-based MFA using Django-MFA.

We can get the facility of MFA using Django-MFA by following the following simple steps.

  1. Install Django-MFA with the following command.
    pip install django-mfa
  2. Keep the following settings in your settings.py
    INSTALLED_APPS = [
    	   ...
    	   'django_mfa',
    	]
    MIDDLEWARE_CLASSES = [
    	   ...
    	   'django_mfa.middleware.MfaMiddleware',
    	]
  3. Include the following in your root urls.py
    urlpatterns = [
    	   ...
    	   url(r'^settings/', include('django_mfa.urls', namespace="mfa")),
    	]

That's it, now you have the feature of MFA in your Django project. Once you have followed the above steps, you can just go to "/settings/security/” in your address bar, you can get the flow of enabling MFA to your account.

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SENIOR DEVELOPER at MICROPYRAMID

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