No one wants a stranger to enter their network, enterprise, or organization and access the secret information. So, every company takes some measure to secure its system, information, and employees’ identity.
The authentication method is one of these methods. An organization chooses the types of authentication based on their necessity. Let us discuss what authentication is and what are its different types.
- What Does Authentication Mean?
- What is Authentication in Cybersecurity?
- Example of authentication in cybersecurity
- Types of Authentication Methods in Network Security
- Wrapping Up
What Does Authentication Mean?
Authentication checks whether the information provided by someone is real or not, whether he is the one whom he declares, or his information is not that what he has given.
One confirms user identity through his user ID for example if one enters a username and password, the authentication system will check whether the password matches the password for the respective username in the database.
This user ID, password, or other credentials on which the user can access the information is called the authentication factor. It depends on the company whether it defines the only factor, two factors, or multifactor authentication.
Simply, authentication is confirmation of the user’s identity through authentication factors like user ID, password, or any other standard defined by the enterprise.
Verbally, Authentication is showing something valid or genuine or verifying someone’s identity.
What is Authentication in Cybersecurity?
Authentication has the same concept in cybersecurity as it has individually. In cybersecurity, the authentication is to secure the network by implementing authentication technology.
Companies use authentication for the protection of their databases including critical information of the organization, personal information of employers, network, their computer system, and application services running on other networks.
Example of authentication in cybersecurity
Let us suppose an enterprise provides a user ID and password to its employees. These credentials are sensitive, so employees are not allowed to share with anyone.
Now, if someone uses the user ID of any employee it has to pass the authentication process that can include anything to confirm whether the person logging in is our employee or not. This process is authentication in cybersecurity.
Types of Authentication Methods in Network Security
There are different authentication methods in network security depending on the security and situation of the organization. We have discussed some authentication methods and technologies below:
Single Factor/Primary Authentication
Single-factor authentication is a method in which only one category of credentials is used to identify the validity. It is the simplest method of authentication. In this, the user has to match one credential two to pass the identity test.
The most popular example of single-factor authentication is Password-based authentication, in which one has to enter the correct password. The authentication technology will match it in the database and then continue the process.
Two-factor authentication is the method in which the system asks the user to verify twice with different methods. When you enter only username and password it is a single factor but if it requires to complete one more process before providing access then it is two-factor authentication.
Money withdrawal from ATM is an example of a two-factor authentication method. You must enter the correct card number as well as the correct pin to withdraw money from ATM. Google also has two-factor authentication implemented in their systems.
Two-factor authentication is also considered multi-factor authentication. The multi-factor authentication ensures two or more than two times before giving access to the user of any database or something else.
This requires at least two pieces of evidence to proceed with the procedure. Every step of identifying the user’s credibility is different. It may ask about who you are, what you have, or what you know.
An example of multi-factor authentication is a code received via email or SMS on the number. The user first provides its email and password to create an account. Then he has to enter a 4-digit, or 6-digit code sent via email or number to verify that the actual person is logging in.
Token-based authentication allows the user when he has a token of approval. In this, the user verifies his identity and in return, he receives a unique token of access. Only users with this token can access the information.
Auth tokens or links are an example of token-based authentication. An example of token-based authentication is sand box lab access. One gets access when he enters the provided auth link or user ID for logging in.
Biometric authentication identifies the user using his biological trends like retinas, voice, face, fingerprints, and thumb impressions. This authentication method is gaining popularity worldwide because of its enhanced security features. It has every less risk of data breaching because every person in the world has unique biological traits whether it is his retina or fingerprint.
The transaction authentication method works on the one-time identification number that is valid for one-time use. The transaction authentication number adds a layer of security to the system making it more secure.
Let us suppose you have to send money through the mobile account. You enter money, number, and then to verify the transfer it asks for PIN this is transaction authentication. Sometimes if the transaction is of a large amount of money, they might send a second code to validate the transfer/transaction.
Like token-based authentication, its name also shows what it uses to identify the real user. Certification-based authentication depends on the digital certificate.
When a client requests access to the server, it sends a digitally signed certificate to the server. The server then checks the certificate and approves the request.
The authentication method is now the most popular method of securing the network. It is serving well in the domain of cybersecurity. The companies got a new way to identify the real employee and do not provide access unless the user is validated.
There are several types of authentication. You can do it using different technologies like password, biometric, token, and many others. One can select any of the methods depending on the situation.