Why Not All Authentication Portals Are Created Equal

Why Not All Authentication Portals Are Created Equal

Why aren’t all authentication portals created equal? How can you improve your business’ login process to facilitate both speed and security simultaneously? 

Usually, when a user approaches a login portal for the first time, they’ll see two fields in front of them. One will ask for their username or email. The other asks for a password. 

One of three actions happens next. The user either inputs their credentials or they don’t, forcing them through a password recovery process. Alternatively, they could simply abandon their activity, which happens to millions of digital shopping carts every day. 

This authentication process is so familiar as to be obvious. Yet because of that same ubiquity, authentication portals represent a dangerous attack vector. Frequently, hackers find ways to bypass or circumvent single-factor authentication tools like this one. 

In fact, with the proliferation of password crackers or lists of previously leaked passwords available on the Dark Web, hackers can easily infiltrate IT environments by essentially walking through the front door. Worse, with information available in social media accounts, often threat actors can just guess passwords. 

Authentication portals that rely solely on passwords thus suffer from a deluge of cyber-attacks. How can you improve your own authentication portals

Making the Most of Your Authentication Portals

Increasing Speed Through Single Sign-On

First, password-only portals suffer from slowdowns on a regular basis. As described above, users often get stuck because remembering hundreds of passwords for all their accounts; after all, that is more than an ask for the average person. 

So users will repeat their passwords (a massive security risk, given how hackers can use repeated passwords in credential stuffing attacks) or forget them and go through the password recovery process. 

Ideally, these only take a few minutes at a time…yet a few minutes expanded across all users adds up to a staggering amount of lost time.  

You can improve the speed of the login process by deploying Single Sign-On throughout your enterprise IT environment, including partnered apps and third parties. This capability allows users access to their basic resources and databases through a single login process. Thus, instead of needing individual passwords to login to your workflow management program, your content management program, and your email, you can do it all in one fell swoop.  

Increasing Security Through Multifactor Authentication

Of course, part of the security trouble with most authentication portals stems from a reliance on a single factor. If hackers can get past that, they’re basically home-free. 

Naturally, the solution to this problem is to deploy as many authentication factors as possible from the onset. These can include geofencing, time of access monitoring, biometric authentication, device monitoring, token-based authentication, and much more. What you decide to deploy for your business isn’t as critical as selecting as many as is feasibly possible; the more barriers to entry, the fewer hackers get through. Often, hackers won’t even bother dealing with such a fortified digital perimeter. 

Of course, some business IT decision-makers might believe that having so many authentication factors can weigh down the login process, slowing down workflows. However, this doesn’t need to be the case. Many multifactor authentication factors operate under the surface, not intruding on the process at all. 

Security and speed need not be mutually exclusive in your authentication portals. You can learn more about how the two intersect, and how you can prioritize them both or one over the other, with the Solutions Suggestion Engine. Our proprietary software matches users’ needs with vendor-created profiles in a matter of seconds.   

Ben Canner