Strong authentication methods help to confirm that the person trying to access a particular resource is who they say they are. There are many ways to handle authentication, but businesses can use some modern methods to verify a person’s identity. Companies can use multiple authentication methods to improve the security of their system. Strong authentication can protect from the breach of more sensitive information.
We all know that the demand for various authentication technologies is growing day by day. Businesses now understand that the password is not the only option to secure a resource and authenticate users. Here, we will learn the different strong authentication methods.
Strong authentication is the process of confirming the user identity to protect the resource from a breach. It can identify users safely and reliably, and it does not depend on shared passwords, codes, etc. Strong customer authentication is effortless and can build trust in user identity.
According to TechTarget, “Strong authentication is any method of verifying the identity of a user or device that is intrinsically stringent enough to ensure the security of the system it protects by withstanding any attacks it is likely to encounter. Strong authentication is often used synonymously with two-factor authentication (2FA) or multifactor authentication (MFA). However, that usage is misleading because some types of very secure authentication rely on a single authentication factor.”
People have been using username and password as a combination, and it has been a standard authentication process for decades. And now, strong authentication is built on that technique. Hence, the strong authentication process helps businesses use two different factors to verify the user identity. If one aspect is compromised, the other will be intact, and the same element will never reuse. So, it is not possible to steal that element, which will help protect the resource.
Strong customer authentication (SCA) is nothing but the authentication process that requires two or more elements, i.e., knowledge and possession of something only the user knows. The factors must be independent of each other. This two-factor authentication is more secure as if one gets compromised, the other can help from the breach.
According to Wikipedia, “Strong customer authentication (SCA) is a requirement of the EU Revised Directive on Payment Services (PSD2) on payment service providers within the European Economic Area. The requirement ensures that electronic payments are performed with multifactor authentication to increase the security of electronic payments. Physical card transactions already commonly have what could be termed strong customer authentication in the EU (Chip and PIN), but this has not generally been true for Internet transactions across the EU before the implementation of the requirement, and many contactless card payments do not use a second authentication factor.”
There is a growing demand for strong authentication methods in this modern era of technologies. With strong authentication, users can access and control the devices, and businesses can use it for development purposes, for example, an eCommerce website.
Here are some standard strong authentication methods that businesses are using to improve the security of their resources.
Password-based authentication is one of the commonly used methods of authentication. Password is the combination of some string of letters, special characters, and numbers. Users can create a strong password that can protect them from the breach, and it should be a combination of all possible options.
As per the survey, an average person has 25 different online profiles, and only 54% of them use different passwords across their accounts. The fact is that there are several passwords to remember because of multiple accounts. Hence, most people prefer to choose simple passwords rather than reliable ones as they are easy to remember.
Password-based authentication has many weaknesses and is not enough to protect digital data. Hackers can quickly get the password combinations which results in a data breach. Hence, passwords are not sufficient for securing online data.
Multifactor authentication (MFA)
In information security, multifactor authentication plays an essential role. MFA or multifactor authentication is the process of authentication that uses two or more techniques to protect and confirm user identity. We can take an example of smartphones that generates codes like fingerprints, facial recognition, captcha, etc., to safeguard information. Multifactor authentication has become a common way of authentication as password-based authentication is not that secure.
With the multifactor authentication method, a person is asked to add a username and password to access a resource. After that, a verification code is sent to his email or mobile number. If the user has access to that particular email or mobile number, they can enter the code and log in to the page.
It protects information from hacking and provides extra security to users’ identities. Therefore, it always keeps an eye on users’ accounts and data and keeps hackers away.
In the certificate-based authentication method, the user identified with the help of digital applications. Moreover, a digital certificate depends on the idea of a driving license that helps the user improve the security of their resources. In simple words, a digital document is nothing but an electronic record required for user authentication.
It includes the certification authority’s public key and online signature that will help businesses protect from the hack. Individuals can upload their documents when they try to sign in to the server. At that time, the serve verified the user by checking the credibility and certificate authority of the user’s digital certificate.
Biometric authentication is based on the biological characteristics of the user. This method used by both private and government authorities and consumers. Therefore, a few standard forms of biometric authentication are:
Facial recognition: Facial recognition includes the face characteristics of the user who needs to gain access to a piece of particular stored information. Further, the user’s face needs to match the look approved and stored in the database.
- Fingerprint scanners
As the name suggests, it matches the fingerprint of an individual. Therefore, some new arrivals of the fingerprint scanner in the market can match the vascular patterns of a person’s fingers.
- Speaker Recognition
Voice biometric or speaker recognition can examine the user’s voice and speaker’s speech pattern. Moreover, the sound-based hardware depends on the standardized words said before.
- Eye scanners
Eye scanners contain retina scanners and iris recognition technology from the hacking. This method includes an iris scanner that focuses on the color ring around the user’s eye. Therefore, Eye scanner authentication finds wrong if the user wears lenses or sunglasses.
Two-factor authentication (2FA)
Two-factor authentication comes under multifactor authentication and it is a sub-type of MFA. As the name suggests, it requires two modes of the authentication process. Thus we express it as 2FA, i.e., two-factor authentication.
Single Sign On (SSO)
With the single sign-on (SSO) method, users do not need to sign in at all; instead, the website is trying to connect with the identity provider. Hence, it will help the user login without adding credentials.
An individual can add their credential only once with token-based authentication and get a unique string of encrypted random characters. With token-based authentication, we do not need to add credentials all the time. For instance, token-based authentication is Restful APIs.
Strong authentication is essential to secure your sensitive information from hacking. So, for that purpose, users need a proper and strong authentication method that can help to keep unauthorized access away and protect the data from a breach.
For instance, person A cannot access the information having access to person B. We cannot protect the user information if it is not secure with strong authentication. Cybercriminals can access our data if we did not use any strong authentication method.
In conclusion, in this modern era of technology, the incidence of hacking information from cybercriminals is increasing day by day. So, consumers and businesses have to move beyond usernames and passwords. The strong authentication methods help enterprises get protected from data breaches and improve a resource’s security.