Identification And Authentication | Basic Security Concepts
Surely, you’ll agree with me that “trust” is an essential and tender aspect of human relationships. Let’s take, for instance, you recently got a new job and you need to resume today. On getting to the place of work, of course, you know it’s impossible for you to just go straight to your office. Right? At least, you need to first identify yourself by showing your ID card at the security post. After that, the security officer will check your identity and authenticate it before authorizing you to the appropriate place. This same approach applies to every organization looking to secure its businesses.
No digital business is 100% immune to security threats, and since that’s the case, every organization needs to find a better way to secure their businesses. The basis of all security is being able to control access to your platform – allowing the right people in and keeping the wrong people away from it. This is exactly where “identification and authentication” come into the scene.
Identification is the first phase of every security access control. It’s the stage where the security system gets the user’s identity. However, since identification alone isn’t enough to secure a platform, authentication is required to determine whether or not the user is who he declares himself to be.
Identification and authentication are two of the most widely accepted aspects of the basic security concepts. Read on to understand how the two powerful access control strategies will help you mitigate potential security risks around your business.
What Is Identification and What Does It Include?
As earlier mentioned, identification is the very first step to understanding a digital user’s identity. You need to pass through this stage if you’re looking to control access to your businesses for security reasons.
Furthermore, identification is a process whereby a digital user provides the security system with his/her identity. It can be achieved with various methods, such as a process ID card, username, smart card, or any other form of uniquely identifying the user.
To achieve a successful security access control, every organization needs to have an identity management system in place. The primary aim of this measure is to ensure the security system properly identifies every user connecting to it.
That said, here are some of the benefits attached to having a great identity and access management (IAM) measure:
- Improved security
One of the benefits of having a proper identity management measure is to achieve improved security. This solution helps to identify and mitigate security risks. That’s not all; it’s also capable of identifying and preventing inappropriate access to your security system.
- Reduced insider threat
According to a recent study by the Verizon 2021 Data Breach Investigations Report, a growing number of threats are caused by insiders. However, with an effective identity and access management system in place, you can always mitigate the damages caused by insiders. The solution will ensure that digital users only have access to certain security systems.
- Multi-factor security
Another benefit of a good identity and access management measure is that it enables businesses to move from a single factor or two-factor to three-factor authentication.
What Is Authentication And What Does It Include?
As previously stated, identification alone isn’t enough for security access control. For better results, there’s a need for authentication and authorization, an approach that requires the server to determine whether or not a digital user has permission to access a file.
Although identification and authentication have a few things in common, you need to understand that they’re distinct security processes in IAM. For authentication to occur, the security system needs to first have the digital user’s identity. After that, the system will now progress to confirm whether the identity is legit.
That said, authentication is a process whereby a system confirms whether or not the user is who he declares himself to be. The security system does that by checking the credentials of the user, such as ID or username, and matching them in a data authentication server.
Here’s how authentication works
As you now know, authentication won’t occur until a digital user has provided credentials for identifying who he is. On the local operating system, there’s always authorized users’ information present there.
As soon as the user provides the credentials, they are automatically matched with the authorized users’ data. If the data matches, the system will proceed to the last stage of security access control, which is called authorization.
In case you don’t know, there are three different tasks attached to a user’s authentication. First, it helps to manage the connection between the digital user and the website’s server, otherwise called a computer. Apart from that, a user’s authentication helps to verify users’ identities. Of course, it can also decline or approve authentication, allowing the security system to move to the last security access stage.
User authentication methods
For a successful authentication of a user requesting to access a security system, the individual needs to provide a piece of information. The information, called the authentication factor, is only known by the user and the server.
There are three different authentication factors out there; knowledge factor, the possession factor, and inference factor.
- A knowledge factor, also called something you know, is an authentication factor that consists of information that the user possesses. Some examples include a password and answers to secret questions.
- A possession factor, also known as something you have, is an authentication factor that consists of what the digital users possess and can carry up and down with them.
- An inference factor, otherwise called something you are, is a biometric authentication process. A few examples of this process include facial recognition, retina scan, fingerprint scanning.