all about methods to protect users and data

The security of sensitive data is always at the core of users’ concerns. To increase this security, various authentication measures have been developed.

In this increasingly digital age, business demand for various authentication measures is increasing. Several concerns justify this request. But the first reason is always this vital need to protect data and its users at all costs. On the other hand, some companies may diversify the authentication measures to initiate the commercial development of their business.

Currently, the wide range of possible authentication measures leaves you spoiled for choice. Business activities can also control the choice of corresponding authentication measures.

Authentication: what is it?

It is an identification measure that a system, database, network or peripheral requires when one or more users decide to access it. It provides a protective barrier to reinforce the security system. But it also makes it possible to verify the identity and frequency of requests for access to IT structures.

Generally, and for many years, authentication measures come in the form of a username and password request. Over time, the development of other measures and new identification technologies have allowed for many entries on the scene: biometrics, applications, encryption measures or cryptography.

As mentioned above, authentication gives official users access to a number of systems. And so the purpose of this is logically to deny access to unwanted visitors who may have malicious interests. Hackers spare no effort to gain access to IT infrastructure and user accounts. Sensitive data must always be subject to enhanced protection in this type of situation. And sometimes in the same system, two users should not have access to sensitive data from one or the other.

Cybercriminals remain the biggest threat to systems. It is against this kind of attempt that the companies must count on informal access. Several global companies have had to deal with the disastrous consequences of a poor authentication measure. Furthermore, cybercriminals are stepping up their efforts in these times, where confidential data contained in the cloud sometimes contains information whose efforts can change the daily lives of many companies.

Fortunately, to prevent malicious infiltration, computer experts have developed various strong authentication measures over time. Here are five.

Password authentication

The use of passwords is arguably the most well-known authentication measure around the world. A password can consist of numbers, letters, or other keyboard-based characters. The creation and choice of the password must take into account the fact that the more complex it is, the less exposed it is. That’s why we often suggest a diversified combination of numbers, upper or lower case letters and finally adding unusual characters.

The bad habit is to keep one password for a multitude of online accounts. And yet a large number of users do. The second temptation is to choose a password whose information is publicly available, such as the date of birth. The explanation lies in the fact that it is sometimes limiting to have to remember different passwords. Convenience outweighs security, and many users expose their accounts to potential threats. When passwords are weak, phishing attacks happen. In February, a lot of phishing was reported on LinkedIn, the hackers attacked job seekers.

MFA or multi-factor authentication

This method combines two or more independent authentication factors to gain access to a system, device, or network. For example, 2FA is 2-factor authentication.

It can manifest as follows: a request for a code on a mobile device combined with voice biometrics. MFA includes fingerprint requests, facial recognition, Captcha tests and of course voice biometrics. Those who want to protect their account from hackers therefore prefer MFA. However, if the user has his phone stolen and loses his SIM card, the threat cannot be completely ruled out.

Certificate-based authentication

This is the method most used on institutional or public websites. Users must then present a digital certificate to gain access to a system. This digital certificate can take the form of a national identity card, a passport or a driving licence. It should be noted that each certificate is specific to an individual. It contains its digital identity: a public key and a digital signature from a certificate authority. Its sharing as well as its use cannot be done by another person. On the other hand, only a certification authority can issue it. They are subject to many requests at the server level. These examine the public key and the digital signature as well as the issuing authority. Then the servers will use cryptography to issue a private key that matches the certificate.

Biometrics

This authentication measure uses a person’s biometric data. It includes strategies based on facial recognition, fingerprints, eye scanners and voice biometrics. It should be noted that all of these measurements are personal and unique to a single individual.

That face recognition requires the face of the access seeker to be stored in the database in advance.

That fingerprint, unique to each person, are scanned before being recorded on the devices or with the identification materials. As for the use of the most popular fingerprint, it is the one associated with unlocking smartphones. On the back of the mobile device, a sensitive surface makes it possible to scan the user’s finger every time he wants to open his phone.

That eye scanners mobilize iris and retinal recognition technologies. Very sophisticated, wearing glasses and contact lenses makes them easily distracted. Which can be embarrassing to remove when scanning.

That voice biometrics uses voice recognition to identify users. They will either have to speak or emit a certain sound for the devices to recognize their voice.

The benefits of biometrics

Biometrics has several advantages. First, the uniqueness of biological properties cannot be confused with others in the same database. Then biometric authentication can be placed at gates, at entrances to buildings. And finally, it can be added to another authentication measure, such as multi-factor authentication.

Biometrics is considered the authentication of choice for official institutions: military bases, airports, medical centers or centers for in-depth scientific research and at borders. Its strength lies in its originality. The necessary measurements cannot be falsified and, in addition, they do not require additional effort from the users. This authentication measure is already state-of-the-art.

The creation of Yousign: The electronic signature takes off. New form of authentication to sign electronically, it is considered more secure. The e-signature does not allow mistakes to be made, it also avoids manual checks. It is used to ratify agreements between third parties, suppliers and customers.

Token based authentication

Somewhat specifically, this authentication measure requires the user to enter their identification only once in exchange for tokens. These tokens take the form of a unique cipher whose characters are random. Thanks to the token, the user can enter systems or networks. The token authentication measure is popular with both frameworks and clients and is convenient because it does not require additional system-level re-identification. Their use invokes RESTful APIs.

Global hackers

In France, although the country’s national cybersecurity organization is advanced, the National Health Insurance Fund was recently hacked. Hackers accessed the amelipro accounts of 19 healthcare professionals. 500,000 French personal data were stolen.

And the Russian-Ukrainian war has brought its share of cybercrime problems. The Eurovision 2022 event quickly fell victim to pro-Russian hackers. After Russia was sanctioned from participating in Eurovision 2022, hackers attacked the organization’s computer system.

Cryptography is developing at high speed on its side. The US National Institute of Standards and Technology recently introduced 4 encryption tools. Developed to circumvent potential problems with the appearance of quantum supercomputers.

In conclusion, systems, companies and users must regularly renew their authentication measures. This helps to update data protection policies. Although there are plenty of technologies to secure them, threats should never be ruled out. Cybercriminals also renew the spirit on their side for their malicious urge to gain access to certain systems and certain accounts. It is therefore a matter of redoubled vigilance against potential hackers. But attention is also required between colleagues within the same institution.

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