Authentication File | Authentication and Its Types

Authentication File | Authentication and Its Types

In the current times, the risk of hacking, frauds, and malicious attempts to steal information or access any user’s system has reached record levels. Therefore, most of the services and applications now come with an added security feature of authentication. They require users to enter specific details relevant to their ID or profile using different techniques so the server can grant access if it is a legit attempt and block in case of a hacking attempt; this mechanism is referred to as authentication. It is the process that verifies someone’s identity to determine whether they are the actual person they claim to be.

The authentication technology compares the credentials or details entered by the user to the credentials available in the database server. It was created to help companies and organizations to secure their network by allowing only authorized users to access their application, website, database, network, etc. There are different authentication methods available depending upon the service or application being used. For example, a streaming website only requires a simple password from the user, while banking and other fintech applications require users to add OTP, password, and sometimes pin to authenticate before allowing access to the system. The major type of authentications that utilize different user credentials to grant access are listed below:

Password Authentication

This is the most common type of authentication used by the majority of services and applications currently available. In this authentication, a consumer uses a password consisting of letters, special characters, or numbers to authenticate his identity against the email or user ID entered.

Token Authentication

It is a protocol-based authentication in which the user verifies his identity and receives a unique encrypted token in return. The user can access the system or service until the token expires and does not have to re-enter the credentials repeatedly in that particular time.

Biometric Authentication

The most advanced and secure form of authentication is a biometric one that uses the unique biological characteristics of a user to grant access to the system. The user has to first store his biometric data in the database of the system being accessed. There are a variety of biometric types, including a fingerprint scanner, face recognition, voice recognition, and iris or eye recognition. All of these are termed as the most protected form of authentication because every single person in the world has a unique fingerprint, iris, etc., so there is no chance of a hacker impersonating the user’s ID.

Multi-factor Authentication

To ensure multiple layers of security before allowing users to access the system, different applications have now enabled the multi-factor authentication process. This type of authentication requires users to give at least two credentials i.e., password and fingerprint. MFA improves cybersecurity to much extent as now companies use multi-factor authentications for securing their network.

Certificate-based Authentication

This process uses a digital certificate to authenticate the user’s access to the system, application, or any other device. It also works in coordination with one of the other authentication types i.e., password, pin, or biometric details. The digital certificate is usually an electronic document that serves as proof of identity or authenticity.

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