There are a lot of different authentication methods out there, and not all of them use passwords. Passwords were never meant to keep anything secure – the first passwords were used to meter time on a shared mainframe for graduate students, and subsequently the first hack involving passwords was from someone who used other students’ login credentials to gain more access to said shared mainframe. The problem with passwords and security questions is that they rely on shared secrets that can easily be found out. So what is next for authentication methods and cybersecurity?

The more of our lives that get put online, the more hackers are trying to gain access. This means that we have to come up with increasingly more secure ways to safeguard our businesses and even our personal lives online. Multi-Factor authentication was thought to be much safer than a single factor, which was usually just a password and username login, in that it added a second factor, which is usually a question based on your personal life. Unfortunately it is all too easy to access this personal information – ever done one of those “which popsicle flavor are you” quizzes?

One time passwords, login links, and out-of-band-voice logins are only slightly more secure in that they are only as secure as the accounts you access these login methods from. Your email and your phone can both be hacked.

Biometrics are more secure for now only because they take a considerable amount of effort to fake, though some of the technologies have been shown to be easily fooled by using photographs to fool facial recognition and the like.

In short, more layers doesn’t necessarily mean more secure.

That’s why newer authentication methods are taking the place of these older methods. Asymmetric cryptography uses certificate-based authentication to check for location, IP address, device security posture, biometrics, and geolocation to determine whether a login attempt is likely to be legitimate. Learn more about the future of authentication below.

Infographic source: Beyond Identity