According to IT security research by Risk Based Security, over 7 billion records were stolen in the third quarter of 2019. The utter weakness of companies’ security systems was revealed when the figure went over 22 billion last year. A significant percentage of these breaches result from weak authentication systems and users’ negligence from excessive workload. To be steps ahead of cyber invaders, an organization needs to be armed with a practical and user-friendly security solution called context-based authentication.
What is Context-based Authentication?
Context-based authentication, also called adaptive authentication, is an identification system that considers the context of the employee’s access demand before granting it. It is a two-factor authorization method that analyzes the worker’s network, device, and location to confirm their identity. This will restrict access by unauthorized users and mitigate the risk of data exposure. Context-based authentication also benefits users, increasing their accessibility and convenience while strengthening IT security. It offers a simple, reliable security solution for a company and its employees. It is sometimes referred to as risk-based authentication, for it uses context to evaluate the potential risk should a user’s access request be granted. The risk analysis will determine if a user needs to undergo more identification processes. This step is mainly required when a worker tries to gain access after leaving the company’s building or the company closes for the day.
Parameters Used in Context-based Authentication
The factors considered for an adaptive authentication may vary, depending on the company’s security strategies. However, the standard configurations commonly adopted to establish trust before access to the company’s systems are:
- Request Hour: The time of the day access is requested can be used to ascertain credibility. Criminals cannot manipulate the information, but its overall effect on user authentication is minimal. A time range for access can be assigned and will apply to all business days. The system can also note the user’s usual login period for future purposes. Any request before or beyond the defined time will be considered a risk.
- User Identity: Context-based authentication uses the worker’s details like email address, password, etc., for authorization. It also registers their devices and records their regular behavior, all of which are used for access requests.
- Device Status: The status of the access device regarding cyber threats is used to limit authentication. If your mobile phone or laptop has malware, it can’t be used to access the organization’s data under context-based authentication.
- Geolocation: Geolocation can be easily manipulated, and access requires the user’s authorization. However, it helps to analyze risk levels by detecting where the account login request is initiated.
How Contextual Access Can Improve Your User Authentication Experience
1. Single Login Point
Contextual access is user-friendly, making it your go-to security solution when considering your employee’s convenience. With its single sign-on, users within the organization will experience seamless access to the corporate network. It can achieve this by extracting data from its context authentication parameters like identity, device threat status, IP address, and user’s behavior. This determines the origination of a login attempt and ultimately restricts unauthorized users.
2. Easy and Secure Access for Remote Workers
Contextual access is one way employees can securely work from home without being burdened with endless authentication processes before being granted access to the company’s data. While securing these ends from cyber invaders with strong security software is essential, their convenience should be a priority. Adaptive authentication stops account takeovers without reducing the productivity of remote workers. It also enables easy enforcement of customized security strategies for remote workers. This is most important for large companies.
3. Effortless Two-factor authentication
Contextual access improves your organization’s security and establishes users’ intentions with its seamless login access. Your system’s integrity stays strong with no need for multiple authentication steps that burden your employees and ultimately reduce workforce efficiency. With risk-based authorization, logging into applications will be frictionless as its security assessment doesn’t need the active participation of users. Trustworthy users and authorized devices will get quick access without compromising the network’s safety.
4. Detect Irregular Behaviors
Adaptive authentication does not only improve users’ authentication experience; it also monitors their behaviors and detects any abnormality. Adaptive authentication compares all login actions with their “normal” and identifies potential threats. It employs additional authentication methods when there’s a login request beyond the user’s regular time window or outside the usual geolocation. This will assist an organization in protecting its employee’s accounts from cybercriminals.
5. Shared Intelligence
Expect the maximum effect from contextual authentication when shared global intelligence is applied. This will integrate global knowledge of cyberattacks into its multi-parameter authentication methods. It is a security strategy that allows its centralization within identity networks across the globe. Hence, providing a low-cost threat-free plan that works effectively and reduces cyberattacks without compromising users’ convenience. For more insights on authentication systems and help with other IT services for your middle Tennessee or Southern Kentucky business call 931.263.8000 to engage our professionals at Copperband Technologies or fill out our contact form.