Safeguarding sensitive financial data has become paramount today. Recognizing the critical need for enhanced security in these systems, NIC has introduced a 2-Factor Authentication (2FA) feature for all the taxpayers with an Aggregate Turnover (ATTO) of Rs. 20 Crores and above in India. This mandatory security measure goes beyond traditional username and password combinations, adding an extra layer of protection to taxpayer accounts. It will come into practice from 1st November 2023 onwards.
What is 2-Factor Authentication (2FA)?
Before going into the specifics of this new requirement, let’s understand the concept of 2-Factor Authentication (2FA). It is a security process that ensures only authorized individuals gain access to their accounts. Unlike a single password, 2FA combines something you know (your password) with something you have (an OTP or One-Time Password), significantly reducing the risk of unauthorized access.
Three Ways to Receive OTP
To implement 2FA, taxpayers have three convenient methods to receive OTPs for authentication
- SMS Authentication: Users will receive an OTP via SMS on their registered mobile numbers. It’s crucial to ensure that your mobile number is up-to-date to receive these SMS notifications.
- ‘Sandes’ App for Enhanced Security: The government provides the ‘Sandes’ messaging app, which allows taxpayers to send and receive messages securely. Download and install the app on your registered mobile number to receive OTPs within it.
- Using ‘NIC-GST-Shield’ App: The ‘NIC-GST-Shield’ app, designed specifically for the e-Way Bill/e-Invoice System, offers another robust option for generating OTPs. Download and install this app only from the e-Way Bill/e-Invoice portal and register it on your mobile number. This app’s unique feature is that it doesn’t require an internet connection or mobile network for OTP generation. It displays a refreshed OTP every 30 seconds.
Registration for 2-Factor Authentication
Registering for 2FA is a straightforward process. Here’s how to do it:
- Log in to the e-Way Bill Portal/E-invoicing Portal.
- Navigate to the Main Menu and select 2-Factor Authentication.
- Confirm your registration.
Once registered, the system will prompt you to enter an OTP along with your username and password during login. Importantly, 2FA authentication is tied to individual user accounts. Sub-users of GSTIN will have separate authentication methods based on their registered mobile numbers in the e-Way Bill/e-Invoice System.
Benefits of 2-Factor Authentication
The introduction of 2FA for taxpayers with an ATTO of Rs. 20 Crores and above brings several significant benefits:
- Enhanced Security: 2FA adds an extra layer of security, making it significantly harder for unauthorized individuals to access taxpayer accounts.
- Reduced Risks: With 2FA in place, the risks of data breaches and financial losses due to unauthorized access are substantially mitigated.
- Improved Data Protection: Taxpayers can rest assured that their financial data remains safe and protected from potential cyber threats.
Uniform Security for e-Way Bill and e-Invoice System
One notable advantage of 2FA registration is that it applies uniformly to both the e-Way Bill and e-Invoice systems. This streamlines security measures, making it more convenient for taxpayers to protect their financial interests across these platforms.
In an era where digital transactions have become the norm, securing sensitive financial information is non-negotiable. For taxpayers with an ATTO of Rs. 20 Crores and above, the introduction of 2-Factor Authentication (2FA) is a welcome step toward bolstering security in the e-Way Bill and e-Invoice System. This mandatory requirement, which goes beyond traditional username and password combinations, offers enhanced protection and peace of mind.
We strongly encourage all eligible taxpayers to register for 2FA promptly. It is a vital step toward safeguarding your financial data and ensuring that your transactions remain secure in the ever-evolving digital landscape. Embrace this opportunity to strengthen your financial security and protect your valuable assets.
Don’t delay anymore
Start your e-invoicing journey with us today!
to prepare e-invoices. Schedule a free call with us and start generating IRN promptly