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Layered authentication is an information security (IS) management technique in which the identity of an individual or system is verified by more than one authentication process. It provides multiple levels of authentication, depending on the underlying transaction, system or operational environment.
Two types of layered authentication are multifactor authentication (MFA) and two-factor authentication.
Similarly, in addition to personal credentials, layered authentication also may impart device level authentication, such as combining a username with a device's media access control (MAC) address.
An authentication layer also may be interdependent. For example, users are not transferred to layer 2 until they have self-authenticated on layer 1.