January 30, 2019

What is Continuous Authentication, and What Can It Do for Your Business?

Far from being a plot point in a science fiction film, cybercrime is a real and constant danger to business. In 2016, cybercrime cost more than $450 billion for the global economy.

To combat it, many networks, applications or systems include user authentication as part of their cybersecurity measures. Two-factor, or multi-factor identity authentication (MFA), is a common choice. But these tools aren't foolproof in every situation.

Continuous authentication provides an alternative in these cases. But what is it and what can identity and access management (IAM) do for your business? Read on to find out.

What Is Continuous Authentication?

Traditional authentication tools rely on 'one-off' 'events'. A user logs into a system with their password and the authentication lasts for the session.

This appears secure, especially if you use MFA. But a user makes the system vulnerable the moment they walk away from their computer. Or they might accidentally download malware by not following security best practices.

Continuous authentication removes this 'one-off' aspect and monitors changes in the system. It validates the authentication on a continual basis.

For example, the system may track how a user actually uses their smartphone. A change to that behavior flags a need to authenticate the user again.

Behavioral Biometrics

The system might even monitor a user's specific typing style or their usage of the mouse. The ways people use a keyboard or even look at a screen are unique to them.

They're known as behavioral biometrics. Their use allows continuous authentication to act as an unobtrusive form of IAM. Hold down a key too long or start typing erratically?

The system realizes the user has changed and someone else is in control of the session.

How Can These Methods Benefit Your Business?

Continuous authentication is in its infancy but its future is already bright. It helps guard against poor work practices, like users letting colleagues access their workstations.

A study found that 25 percent of people share work-related passwords with others. No business wants that many employees exposing their systems to unnecessary risk.

These continual user authentications prevent the sharing of passwords to be a problem. And the possibilities for fraud prevention make it a crucial area of investigation for the financial sector.

No Extra Training

One of its biggest advantages is that your employees require no additional training. All they need do is show up and do their job. The system provides continuous authentication in the background.

Some employees may feel that they're being spied on by their employers. But it's important to reassure them that IAM tools are not the enemy.

The system might monitor their keystrokes to check it's really them doing the typing. But it's not interested in the content of what's being typed.

Future Uses

Future possibilities could even see IAM tools restricting access to applications based on authentication. If a user just wants to watch the news online on their lunch break, they don't need the same level of authorization as accessing your server.

The Future of Authentication

The beauty of continuous authentication lies in its ease of use for the user. And the peace of mind that it buys for businesses.

Here at Acceptto, we believe that your business deserves better than passwords that can be misused. We imagine that you've already been compromised and work backward from there.

But we know there's a solution. And it starts with you. By focusing on behavioral biometrics, the best part of the security is that there's no one else who uses technology the way you do.

Our software provides Cognitive Continuous Authentication (TM), letting your employees do their job, while you enjoy watertight security. Register today for your free trial. 

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