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Why Your Business Need Risk-Based Authentication?

by Uneeb Khan
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Risk-Based Authentication

As enterprises are becoming more connected, they have onboarded more remote and mobile partners, employees, contractors, and external users. Consequently, an exponentially growing number of individuals need to access critical data and systems. With so many experts and authorized parties, there are several benefits to the organization both in terms of productivity and operability. However, there are also new threats from cybercriminals and malicious third parties.

CTOs, CSOs, CIOs, and other professionals in the IT and security domains are responsible for protecting the IP assets, systems, and data of their organizations. Leveraging the latest technologies to improve system accessibility and security is vital, cost-effective, and profitable for organizations. Simple password-based methods of authentication are no longer enough to stop sophisticated cybercriminals. Enterprises need additional levels of security that can be deployed easily without creating friction for the end user’s experience.

RBA or risk-based authentication ticks all the boxes for enterprises and must be a part of their security protocols regardless of their size. It secures data and systems against hackers and malicious third-party cybercriminals and minimizes the problems resulting from password dependence and off-the-shelf security strategies and protocols.

What is RBA?

Risk-based authentication is a technique where organizations apply several levels of security and protection to authentication procedures. The level of security depends on the probability of a system getting compromised upon access. If the risk level is high, the process of authentication is more restrictive and comprehensive.

When an administrator performs risk assessment for networks or websites, they must consider a variety of factors. These include:

  • System size, measured by the number of authorized users: When a system grows in size, the chances of security breaches increase.
  • Importance of the system for maintaining organizational operations: Most critical enterprise-level systems have a risk of damage in case of a system breach.
  • The difficulty level with which data or systems can be compromised if someone has the intent and tools to do it: Security protocols and measures like antivirus programs and firewalls should ideally be regularly updated and robust. However, most organizations with tight budgets don’t prioritize them.
  • The level of sensitivity around the data contained within the system in question: There are several categories of sensitive information that various systems contain. This could include financial details like credit card numbers, PINs or bank account details, personal customer data like addresses and phone numbers, and business information like contact details, codes, and confidential information. Such information requires a higher level of security.

Factors Analysed by an RBA Solution:

Risk-based authentication gets a holistic understanding of every login attempt on a system by using real-time intelligence. Whenever a user attempts to log into a protected system, the RBA solution analyses several factors and elements. These include:

  • Device: The system checks whether this is a known enterprise network device or a mobile device accessing the system for the first time.
  • Location: RBA systems determine whether the device is in the enterprise environment or operating remotely.
  • Network: It checks whether the IP address is known or familiar, or whether it’s a new address.
  • Sensitivity: This establishes the nature of the data or files being requested. Are they critical or sensitive in nature, or information that can be shared without the worry of compromise?

Also Read: What is Risk-Based Authentication? And Why Should You Implement It?

Based on a quick analysis of each factor, the RBA system reaches a conclusion. The user in question is then directed to do either of the following:

  • Enter the system normally using a password for access.
  • Provide proof of their identity and authorization by sharing additional details before they can access the data or system.

Benefits of Risk-Based Authentication:

  1. Wide adoption and use: A wide range of global agencies, both government and private, use risk-based authentication systems to keep their data and systems safe. Customers around the world have either used or heard of RBA systems in some form or other, which means adding this system will not jar the user experience.
  2. Fewer deployments: If an RBA system is set up the right way, it won’t act on everything. According to MasterCard, about 80% of their transactions are recognized as low-risk transactions and don’t require any additional steps to be taken by customers.
  3. Prevents costs incurred by cyberattacks: According to Deloitte, a single hacking incident can cost enterprises the data of about 12 million unique credit cards. The enterprise is solely responsible for this loss.
  4. Proven compliance: Enterprises in various industries need to prove to their governing bodies that they comply with safety standards that have been set. A business that adopts risk-based authentication proves that it keeps security as a top priority.

Things to Look for in a Risk-Based Authentication System:

Before you decide which RBA system to buy, make sure it provides the following:

  • Real-time threat information access.
  • Analytics for user context which includes location, network, and device information.
  • Extra factors for authentication that prove user identities.
  • Configuration policies that enable administrators to establish authentication procedures.

A business with a risk-based authentication system also tells the customer that their data will be safe and increases brand trust and loyalty.

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