Which second factor is the most secure?

2FA assurance levels

A higher degree of assurance is offered by any 2FA protection than a static password alone provides. Within the realm of 2FA options, some methods have a higher degree of protection than others. The security level threshold acceptable for a given 2FA protected application will vary with the risk posed by that application. As such, for applications that require a sufficiently high assurance level, less secure 2FA options will not be allowed.

York University has elected to use the more secure Duo 2FA authentication methods. Passcode via Text Message and Phone call methods are only available upon request.


2FA Criteria Comparison & Assurance Levels
2FA authentication method Assurance level Self-serve 2FA Setup? Phone number required? Cellular network connection required? Wi-Fi connection required?
Duo Mobile App High Yes No No No (Only for 2FA Setup)
Duo Hardware token Moderate-High No No No No
Text Message Low Yes Yes Yes No
Phone Call/Landline Low Yes Yes Yes (or landline) No


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