Gone are the days of simply entering a password for your account to keep it safe. In today’s digital era, a password alone is not enough to keep your account and personal information safe as cyberattacks become more frequent. Stolen credentials now make up around 42% of investigated account data breaches, making it the most popular method of cybercrime.

There is now an increasing need to use alternative methods to keep your personal information safe, including using stronger and more advanced authentication methods. Cybercriminals are always trying to develop new ways of stealing user information, so these advanced methods must stay ahead of the curve by using more robust techniques.

In this guide, we will explore why advanced authentication methods are becoming a necessity and which methods are the most effective for keeping your personal information out of the wrong hands.

Also Read: What is Cloud Security? 9 Cloud Security Best Practices in 2024

Two-factor Authentication

Perhaps the most popular advanced authentication method is two-factor authentication (2FA). This generally involves a password plus an additional layer of security, hence why it is two factors. The second factor will be something unique that only you possess, such as a code sent to your mobile phone, a fingerprint scan or facial recognition.

By requiring users to have two steps before logging into an account, it makes it much harder for cybercriminals to access your personal information, even if they have your password. Google is an example of a company that uses 2FA for all of their accounts, as they usually use the code method by sending a text message to your mobile phone. They also have a Google Authenticator App that enforces 2FA.

Biometric Authentication

Biometric authentication is similar to the second step of 2FA, as it uses things that are unique to you to log you into an account. Facial recognition, fingerprints or iris tracking are all methods that are used for this type of authentication, as they are extremely difficult to replicate.

Financial accounts, mobile wallets and business accounts all use biometric authentication. This can be particularly useful to avoid bank and crypto scams. These types of scams have risen dramatically amongst cybercriminals, as cryptocurrency is still seen as a new commodity and there is still uncertainty surrounding its protection of it. Luckily, biometric authentication is playing a big part in keeping assets safe.

Also Read: What is an Insider Threat? Definition, Types, and Prevention

SSO Authentication

Single Sign-On authentication allows you to access multiple applications with a single login. While this doesn’t sound very secure at first hearing, it centralizes authentication as it reduces the risk of compromised passwords across various applications.

When you try to access another application that’s integrated with the SSO service, the application doesn’t ask you to log in again. Instead, it will interact with the SSO service to verify your login credentials. This grants you instant access to the application without having to enter your login details again, but under high security.

Token-based Authentication

Instead of requiring a username and password to access an account, token-based authentication relies on tokens to verify user identity. The server you try to log into will check your credentials, generate a unique token and send a request to your chosen device. You can then use this token to verify your identity, which will grant you access to your account.

There are several benefits to using this type of authentication, such as improved security, reduced server load, scalability and flexibility. Many mobile apps and cloud services use this authentication method to ensure secure communication and data exchange between microservices. Cloud security practices are very sought after these days, so it’s important to understand the best options.

Certificate-based Authentication

Certificate-based authentication acts somewhat like a digital passport. It verifies the user’s identity using digital certificates derived from cryptography, which are more robust than the traditional username and password login method.

Digital certificates and their corresponding private keys are stored on a user’s device, which helps to automatically log in to various systems without requiring the user to enter credentials each time. One big benefit of using certificate-based authentication is that it’s very user-friendly. Certificates are simple for end users to utilise, as most corporate systems now use this form of authentication.

Also Read: How to Implement AI-Powered Fraud Detection in Financial Services

Continuous Authentication

This type of authentication works by assessing user behaviour patterns, which provides security for hybrid workforces by allowing authentication to the corporate network. Continuous authentication will then detect and restrict any suspicious behaviour.

Location of login, device used, browsing history and time spent on the account are all investigated and monitored to spot anomalies. If any strange behaviour is detected, the user will be alerted, the login will be challenged and the session will be blocked.

There are some concerns regarding what data is collected and how it’s used, as privacy concerns are always on users’ minds. However, continuous authentication only works in favour of the user and is used to protect their account from cyber criminals. Therefore, it is considered a valid method of authentication and security.



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