Continuous Authentication

What is continuous authentication?

One form of authentication is continuous authentication. It involves granting users access to corporate resources as long as they continue to authenticate themselves. It is based on the level of risk and contextual information about the user, such as their role, location, and type of device. Unlike traditional authentication mechanisms, this mechanism is enforced from login through the end of the user session.

How does continuous authentication work?

Continuous authentication is a process that uses technology to identify you, so you don’t have to authenticate yourself each time you use the Internet.

Continuous authentication looks at your current context and then dynamically determines whether or not you should continue to authenticate. If risk factors change, such as the user’s location, posture, or device, your system will automatically authorize them. 

Continuous authentication provides security for hybrid workforces by allowing authentication to the corporate network while restricting access if suspicious activity is detected.

What are the different types of authentication?

Authentication methods can be categorized according to different factors. Here are some common authentication methods:

Passwords: Two-factor authentication (2FA) is an increasingly popular method of protecting people’s accounts, especially for high-value ones like their email or social media accounts. When the correct password is entered, the system recognizes the user. The downside of passwords is that users often forget them, especially if they have a long list of them to remember. An attacker can also steal them.

Token: This type of property-based authentication is known as a proximity card. Token-based authentication mechanisms offer more security since they require the attacker to gain physical access to the token item.

Behavioral biometrics: Biometric authentication uses behavior-based biometrics that identifies people based on their unique behavioral characteristics. Behavioral biometric authentication considers how someone uses their fingers or their phone to authenticate themselves. This type of authentication is used for online payments, e-commerce, and online banking.

Physiological biometrics: Physical characteristics (fingerprints, heartbeat patterns) are often used in security-based applications like biometric authentication. Biometric technologies, which involve physical characteristics or behaviors, are gaining popularity due to their high accuracy.

Multi-factor authentication (MFA): A single factor alone is not secure. Therefore, many companies implement multiple authentication methods—for instance, passwords and tokens. An excellent example of multi-factor authentication is 2-factor authentication. This method requires the user to give two types of authentication to prove their identities, such as a password and a code or a token sent to their device.

Certificate-based authentication: Authentication using a digital certificate allows you to identify someone without asking them for their password. The digital certification ensures that the user’s information is kept safe, allowing for a secure sign-up.

Continuous authentication types

Continuous authentication methods

Continuous user authentication goes beyond traditional methods to take security to the next level. Authentication scores are continually assessed based on factors, such as device posture and location, that help indicate when suspicious activity or attempts at unauthorized access occur. For example, if a user logs in to the device, the system checks the user’s account information and determines whether it is valid. In addition, you can set different confidence scores according to the type of action or resource involved.

Adaptive authentication

Adaptive authentication allows the scanning of end-user devices both before and throughout a user session to corporate applications. An admin can define how a user is authenticated and authorized to access their apps based on location, device posture, or user risk score. With adaptive authentication, these risk factors are evaluated continuously so that admins can enforce (and adapt) policies as needed.

Risk-based authentication

We use AI to develop risk-based authentication that uses machine learning to gain a real-time view of the context of any login. The solution monitors and analyzes a user’s activity, taking into account location, time of day, device, sensitivity, and other factors, to create an action plan and identify potential risks. If the request doesn’t meet the requirement, the system will ask for more information. The extra information might include a temporary code, a security question, biometric data, or codes sent to a smartphone.

Examples of continuous authentication

To identify attack vectors in hybrid and remote workforces, we need first to understand what cyberattacks are. Users bring their own devices for many reasons, whether they want to use their mobile devices for work purposes or to increase productivity. An attacker can gain access to your network with poorly secured networks. They could cause data leaks, so it’s essential to secure your system correctly. Employees should only use trusted Wi-Fi networks that have not been hacked.
Continuous authentication prevents unauthorized users from accessing the system by detecting access requests from non-secure networks or devices.

It’s not good to let remote employees choose their passwords for remote access accounts. It can create vulnerabilities, and it’s too much work for the organization to implement. It’s dangerous for organizations to allow employees to use inadequate passwords, reused passwords, or passwords shared with coworkers. Securing passwords is the first step in preventing a data breach.

How does continuous authentication help the user experience?

A good user experience is essential to any business, increasing productivity and improving workflow. However, whenever users login to the application, they’re often required to log back in. This results in less productivity for the user. Continuously authenticated users gain access to their regular apps and resources with single sign-on. One of the biggest challenges of social media marketing is convincing potential customers that your website or service is trustworthy.

Does continuous authentication prevent fraud?

A lot of businesses use continuous authentication to prevent fraud. It’s used in many different industries, including finance. The mobile analytics solutions gather information about a customer’s device, such as swipe patterns, keystrokes, GPS coordinates, and other data. This information is used to develop a user profile. When the system discovers a deviation from this pattern, it raises an alert or requests further user identity verification. Continuous authentication enables the profiles to work with the bank’s risk solution. This integration helps determine the most accurate risk score to detect fraud. The advantage of continuous risk-based authentication is that it allows security teams to match the risk to the transaction requested. When combined, the authentication system and anti-fraud technology can expand the security coverage over a more extensive attack surface.

AppViewX solutions for secure access

ADC+ allows you to securely access applications within your enterprise without compromising productivity. This integrated On-prem & SaaS solution offers adaptive authentication and single sign-on (SSO) to help improve your hybrid workforce’s ability to securely access apps and data related to applications.