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Multifactor Authentication for E-Commerce



William D. Newhouse


As retailers in the United States have adopted chip-and-signature and chip-and-PIN (personal identification number) point-of-sale (POS) security measures, there have been increases in fraudulent online card-not-present (CNP) electronic commerce (e-commerce) transactions. The risk of increased fraudulent online shopping became more widely known following the adoption of chip-and-PIN technology that increased security at the POS in Europe. The NCCoE at NIST built a laboratory environment to explore methods to implement multifactor authentication (MFA) for online retail environments for the consumer and the e-commerce platform administrator. The NCCoE also implemented logging and reporting to display authentication-related system activity. This NIST Cybersecurity Practice Guide demonstrates to online retailers that it is possible to implement open standards-based technologies to enable Universal Second Factor (U2F) authentication at the time of purchase when risk thresholds are exceeded. The example implementations outlined in this guide encourage online retailers to adopt effective MFA implementations by using standard components and custom applications that are composed of open- source and commercially available components.
Special Publication (NIST SP) - 1800-17
Report Number


electronic commerce (e-commerce) security, internet shopping security, multifactor authentication (MFA)


Newhouse, W. (2019), Multifactor Authentication for E-Commerce, Special Publication (NIST SP), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online], (Accessed July 19, 2024)


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Created July 30, 2019, Updated January 27, 2020