User Authentication Methods are meant to ensure that you as a user are exactly who you say you are. These are ways of verifying a user’s credentials to protect your identity from theft and larger cyber-attacks from being carried out.
What are some of the more common methods of authentication?
Multi-factor authentication represents a user authentication method that requires a user to show multiple forms of identification before being allowed access to a network.
The most popular and effective of multi factor authentication is the publicly famous Two-Factor Authentication. Its name states exactly how many identity verification pieces a user must provide. Those verification pieces can come in a number of different formats.
Most notable perhaps are the Google and Apple two-factor authentication processes. These require that a user enter their username and password. Then a certified device is sent an additional passcode to authenticate that you are in fact who you say you are.
Popular varieties of multi factor authentication include the combination of several security authentication methods:
Token, key, and certificate authentication represent some of the strongest user authentication methods that are typically a part of a multi factor protocol.
In this process the service network generates a unique certificate, key, or token for an individual user that does not contain any part of a user’s identity information. That certificate allows a network a quick identification check without the user needing to actually take an action to log in. Combined with an encrypted password and other authentication measures, this is typically a highly effective way to secure a user to a network connection.
Biometric Authentication has been a growing trend in the digital security space for some time. The mobile device industry and banking industry now allow a user to replace the submission of their passwords with a scan of the face or fingerprint.
While this certainly does allow a user to forgo some of the hurdles associated with passwords, it should be noted that biometric security providers have struggled in the past. It can be challenging to encrypt your biometric data. Losing your fingerprint or facial data could also be a more challenging form of identity theft to fight.
We’ve all faced the challenge of proving to a robot that we are not, ourselves, a robot. The process usually looks something like: select the images, type in what you see from the image. It is also known as a challenge-response authentication.
Behavior-based authentication is often associated with credit card transactions and purchases that don’t add up to what a bank already knows about you. Did you really make a purchase in another state or country for .99 cents just thirteen minutes after filling up on gas in your hometown? Essentially, your typical behavior is measured by a service who then is able to notify you when their system recognizes abnormal routines or transactions.
Discussing the future of secure authentication methods should start with the complexity of the relationship between users and passwords. The phrase “the password is dead” has been echoing through the web from network security professionals for almost two decades.
We are certainly in agreement that passwords often represent a poor way of securely authenticating users, even today in 2020. So why are so many businesses, network services, and individual users still using the password as a user authentication method?
There is no doubt that the average user now subscribes to more services that require authentication and connection than they did 20 years ago. You have to prove authenticity for your work email, your chrome browser, your bank account, Facebook, Pinterest, your secure work server, your website, your Spotify account, your Amazon account and the list goes on.
Google illustrated the challenge facing the security industry in 2018. When Google tried providing more security to its users, Google software engineer Grzegorz Milka announced that only 10% of their users opted into their two-factor authentication offering.
The most secure form of the user authentication methods is a multi-factor or two-factor authentication process that understands the importance of the user experience (UX) and is external from the protected network, applications, and devices.
That is to say, a security technology that is too cumbersome will fail as users circumvent the protection in favor of ease. A Certificate based authentication in combination with an individual user password provides a simple and secure means to ensure that the appropriate user gains efficient access. Adding this form of multi-factor authentication to a dynamic authentication and networking system can create a hassle-free experience no longer needing to have multiple sign-in passcodes in combination with passwords, image verification, and separate device authentication texts. Let the process and the technology do the work while a user remains productive and secure.
Finally, the solution needs to be scalable. Whether you have 10 employees or 11 million employees, an authentication method should be applicable to any size business or city of individuals.
At Blacksands, we have created a hybrid certificate / multi-factor authentication system with a user-friendly interface. Our patented Separation of Powers Architecture provides external, dynamic – authentication, authorization and networking – brokering point-to-point encrypted connections for your organization. Blacksands’ Secure Connection as a Service is a simple, secure, scalable connectivity solution for the modern Enterprise.
Our Certificate based Multi-factor authentication comes standard with our Secure Connection as a Service and does not require any additional customer integration. The authentication process includes a unique Blacksands’ Certificate on each device identifying a user and device. Unlike other Certificate based authentication systems, Blacksands’ Certificates do not natively have the ability to unlock anything. Instead, appropriate access privileges are assigned, dynamically, by the Blacksands’ system, providing unrivaled scalability and flexibility. This gives workforces such as government agencies, banking, manufacturing, and smart city connected infrastructure the security that they need to work remotely and from any device.