HomeCybersecurityTypes of Authentication Methods:...

Types of Authentication Methods: A Quick Overview

The International financial sector is seeing a churning with global fund transfers, payment platforms, AI-financial advisories, blockchain cryptocurrency sites, and an ever-growing repertoire of FinTech applications. They all face a common challenge – protecting consumer privacy and enhancing the safety and security of online transactions using authentication methods.

The Importance Of Controlling Access, and How Authentication Achieves That

User authentication is the process that confirms the identity of the user accessing a network, then authorizes the access, and safeguards the transaction from unauthorized players who may steal data and commit fraud. 

The purpose of user authentication is to protect the interests of all stakeholders, the user, financial firms, service providers, and retailers, to safeguard against risks and frauds. 

Here, we handhold you through a whirlwind tour of the types of user authentication methods that provide transactional security in cyberspace.

Usernames And Passwords Are Outdated But Ingrained In Our DNA

Passwords offer the most direct customer experience, are very easy to implement, inexpensive, and without compatibility issues. Yet, passwords are the most vulnerable to hacking, and they are usually forgotten and easily stolen. 

As passwords move between users, financial institutions, and payment service providers, encryption is low, and the transactions are prone to man-in-the-middle (MitM) attacks.

The browser and mobile access to most bank accounts, pay wallets, payment service providers, and retailers continue to employ the username and password as backups, diluting the security of high-end authentication methods like biometrics. 

Personal Identification Numbers (PINs): Better Than Passwords, Best If Tied To A Device 

PINs power the vast swathe of debit and credit card transactions and mobile payments, and the convenience they offer is beyond question. Some retailers insist on entering a PIN after the user’s biometric fingerprint verification on the POS terminal. 

Generally, users and merchants popularize PINs as a measure of convenience, not safety. The only universal element in the PIN is that it contains a band of four to six numerical characters. The overall security is weak because financial institutions rarely, if ever, urge users to review and revise their PINs.  

The most egregious error is repeating the same numerical or digitally sequencing the numbers, making it easier for criminal elements to guess the combination. The same PIN in force for multiple accounts opens the doors to a severe data breach.

Issues with the PIN are more in customer behavior and neglect of basic safety norms and security measures, but this doesn’t negate the PIN’s usefulness.   

Knowledge-Based Authentication (KBA) Is Useful As A Secondary Verification Tool

The KBA is an out-of-wallet query that customers need to answer for the authentication process to conclude. The answers lie in the personal archives of the user, and the information is private and unknown to third parties. 

Users face typical queries like, “What is your mother’s maiden name?” “Which is your favorite restaurant?” or “The last amount you withdrew from your account.”

The KBA authentication process is weakening under the onslaught of scammers who reconstruct personal identities from stolen social media data flooding the grey market. Scammers use stolen data to answer KBA queries and misuse personal financial data. 

Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) Safeguards Against Automated Attacks And Phishing

If there’s a password already in play, applications developers can introduce another factor to strengthen the authentication process. The second factor uses a channel different from the first factor to eliminate the MitM attack.

A live example of 2FA is the ATM card we use to withdraw cash, which requires both the card and the PIN specific to the withdrawal facility. Even with a stolen ATM card, a third party cannot transact without knowing the PIN, and the PIN by itself is functional only when a card is in our possession. 

Authentication experts from Passbase KYC verification solutions stress that 2FA protection is gaining popularity with service providers, especially cryptocurrency exchanges and banks that look to strengthen security for moving digital currency and real money. 

2FA effectively blocks autonomous internet programs (bots) from manipulating user systems and prevents phishing attacks that tempt users to part with their profile and account details.

Mobile-Centric OTP And Push Notification Combination Is More Secure Than SMS

The combination of OTP and Push notification provides an additional layer of security which is safer than using a solitary password. The vulnerability lies in the SMS.

The passage of the OTP message through the telecom companies and networks doesn’t use encryption in all segments. A MitM attack can intercept or divert the message with the help of sensitive information gained through phishing.

The way forward is to embrace more secure app-based solutions, such as in-app push notifications, because these apps enforce more challenging authentication protocols that are difficult to break.  

Physical And Behavioral Biometrics Bring Sophistication to Authentication Mechanisms

A paradigm shift occurs in the authentication Methods when the user moves from what he knows (passwords) and what he has (mobile devices) to what he is. Biometrics measures and analyzes the physical and behavioral characteristics that make us human. 

Voice modulation and physical features are virtually impossible to duplicate or compromise because they remain unique throughout life.  

A face scan or thumbprint is enough to unlock your mobile device, and nobody else can. Even if facial features age or skin loses elasticity or voice and tone alters with time, biometrics like the fingerprint or Iris scan can accurately identify people.

The higher cost of integrating biometric systems and the fear of infringing privacy or compromising biometric data prevent biometrics from being more widely used. 

The Distribution of Wealth Comes At A Price

The wheels of the global economy deliver a bouquet of benefits to customers, but this generosity comes at a price. 

The growing risk attached to a transaction impacts both the service provider and beneficiary. FinTechs are coming up with more robust customer verification protocols and transaction authenticating systems. 

Companies are creating dedicated security specialists and financial fraud analysts to evaluate risk and innovate authentication Methods. 

As dynamically growing companies, we must ask ourselves whether we are proactive in moving beyond standard password protection to layered security protocols that safeguard our assets and the user knocking at the door. 

If we don’t do this, our business may go to competitors. 

Check out: How To Secure Ring Account With Two-Factor Authentication

Most Popular

More from Author

5 Game Changing Innovations In Next Generation Firewalls

Are you ready to take your network security to the next...

5 Mistakes to Avoid When Crafting Your API Sеcurity Stratеgy

In December 2021, hackers went and exploited a vulnerability on Twitter’s...

Signs Your Browser has been Hijacked

The very essence of a hijacked browser is subtle intrusion. Navigating...

The Importance of Internet Security: The Hidden Threat of the Internet

The Internet has a significant impact on every aspect of our...

Read Now

5 Cyberattacks to Be Aware of in 2023

Where the world of digitalization makes our lives faster, better, and more sophisticated, it comes with its share of challenges. Among these, the most prevalent are cyberattacks. Any attempt to gain unauthorized access to your cyber systems with the intention of theft, damage, disruption, extortion, or anything...

7 Ways to Protect Your Identity This Year

In the past few years, identity theft threats have grown exponentially. Gone are the days when hiding your credit card information was all the protection you needed. Now, you must take multiple steps to safeguard your information, finances, and integrity. Here are seven ways to protect your identity...

Surfshark VPN Review: Privacy, Performance & Pricing

VPNs increase your privacy by sending all of your web traffic through an encrypted connection to a remote server, but that security comes at a cost—in the case of Surfshark VPN, that cost is in bucks and cents. Our most recent Editors' Choice winner for VPNs is...

How to Learn Ethical Hacking? A Step-by-Step Guide

A job as an ethical hacker is exciting and lucrative. Any gadget employing digital technology is susceptible to hacking, including your car, security lockers, garage door systems, and any other smart home equipment. Because of this, Ethical Hackers are highly appreciated and capable of aiding any industry. Everyone must maintain...

Importance of Mobile App Security Testing

In recent years, more than 36 billion data files have been compromised. Globally, 46% of commercial companies report that at least one of their employees downloaded harmful mobile apps that could have compromised the organization's network security. It is essential to identify security flaws in every aspect of...

The Importance Of Cybersecurity In The Nonprofit Sectors

Such as low-income families, children, and elderly Nonprofit Sectors collect and keep data on those who are frequently vulnerable and at risks, such as children and the elderly. This makes their personal information an excellent target for fraudsters. Typically lacking the financial means of for-profit businesses, Nonprofit Sectors...

What is a VPN, and How Does it Work?

A VPN (Virtual Private Network) is a technology that allows you to create a secure, encrypted connection to another network over the internet. This can be useful for several reasons, including: Protecting your online privacy and security by encrypting your internet traffic Bypassing internet restrictions and censorship...

Network Automation: A New Approach to Network Assurance

Networks are a critical part of any business, and ensuring that they operate at peak performance is essential for success. Network automation through the use of AI has emerged as one of the most effective ways to address the growing complexity of networks while also improving their...

5 Cybersecurity Tips for Businesses

There are many benefits to working with IT Support Services to improve Cybersecurity through IT Infrastructure improvements; here are a few tips to improve your business Cybersecurity: Educate your employees (IT Consultancy) One of the best ways to improve business security is to educate employees about the risks and...

Use An LMS to Train Your Employees About Cybersecurity

Do you conduct cyber security training in your company? If you do, are you sure your training is effective and bringing the change you require? A survey of over 1200 employees revealed that 61% failed the basic cybersecurity test even though they received cybersecurity training from their company....

Jobs You Can Get With CCNA Certification

Cisco Certified Network Associate is a widely respected IT credential. The material covered on the exam spans a broad range of networking concepts. It ensures that those who take the CCNA test are ready to work with today's challenges. Whether you want to refresh your skills or...

6 Important Ways To Improve Your Website Security

Recently, it has become easier than ever before for anyone to build a website. However, many people forget that building your own website means that you are responsible for the safety and security of your own site. This is especially important to remember if people are taking...