2FA (Two-Factor Authentication) adds an additional layer of security to a logging into a PC, network access, or online accounts by requiring a user to provide two means of identification. One factor is usually a password and the other factor can be a device such as a smart card, USB Token, or a mobile phone.
When logging into an account protected by 2FA using a smart card, the user inserts the card into a card reader attached to their computer. They will then be prompted to enter a personal identification number (PIN), which will unlock the smart card and allow the user to access their account.
The smart card acts as the second factor of authentication, in addition to the password. In this case, the smart card provides a secure and portable means of storing the user’s authentication credentials, and the user is not required to have access to a phone or an internet connection to receive a code.
Using a smart card for 2FA can be more secure than using an authentication app or SMS-based 2FA, as the smart card can be difficult to duplicate or steal.