Customer satisfaction isn’t about delivering a flawless experience; it also means taking good care of your customers’ sensitive information. While passwords have been fighting hard to protect customers' sensitive business information and personal details to date, they need to be more effective in handling modern vulnerabilities.
Whether we talk about the increasing threat landscape in the digital era or cybercriminals exploring new ways to exploit customer information, it’s high time businesses must put their best foot forward in adopting a more robust approach to safeguard customer information.
Traditional password-based security is often prone to vulnerabilities and may inconvenience your customers. And here’s where password alternatives come to the rescue.
Let’s explore some great password alternatives to help your business stay ahead of the curve when shielding your customers’ privacy.
The Global Shift Away From Traditional Passwords: Understanding the Reasons
While technology has evolved rapidly, cybercriminals are simultaneously exploring new ways to breach customer privacy.
Though many organizations are already leveraging 2FA or MFA to overcome the security challenges of password-based authentication, new attacks, where the second line of defense is compromised, are now becoming prominent.
So, what does it mean?
Well, organizations using passwords as the only form of authentication are at the highest risk of a breach. In contrast, the ones that have added another stringent layer of security through 2FA or MFA are somehow more secure than those with a single authentication layer.
On the other hand, various data privacy and security regulations, including the GDPR and CCPA, are becoming increasingly stringent. And they require organizations to adhere to these regulations if they serve citizens at a particular location.
Also, consumers are becoming more aware of how businesses use their sensitive information, and they always trust a company that thinks about their privacy and data security.
Hence, organizations are quickly learning that they need a more robust authentication mechanism that can help them build trust in their customers and potential clients.
Let’s figure out what could be the best alternatives to password-based authentication.
1. Passwordless authentication
Passwordless authentication could be the ultimate solution to overcome the challenges associated with conventional password-based authentication.
The passwordless authentication mechanism works by eliminating passwords. Instead, a user offers a token-based authentication or a one-time password that helps authenticate and authorize a user on a platform.
Also, passwordless authentication may include security questions and other authentication mechanisms like biometric authentication. Biometric authentication is one of the safest modes since it’s based on the unique biometric identity of an individual, including fingerprint or facial recognition.
And talking about the most significant benefit of passwordless authentication is that the role of passwords is eliminated, which means attackers have no access to an individual’s account.
2. Password managers
Password managers are a great way to dump conventional passwords. A password manager helps store all your passwords securely. This means you don’t have to worry about remembering your passwords anymore.
Most businesses encourage customers to use password managers to ensure their sensitive information remains secure and their passwords aren’t compromised.
With a password manager, a user can set complex passwords for different accounts on different platforms and just need to log into their password manager to fill in the credentials whenever they need to access their account.
Through my experience, I recommend you encourage your customers to leverage a reliable password manager to safeguard their accounts without hampering user experience.
3. MFA with adaptive authentication
We’ve learned about the endless benefits of MFA. But still, some high-risk situations may demand a more robust authentication mechanism to manage high-intensity attacks.
Adaptive authentication is the more advanced form of authentication where multiple stringent layers are automatically added whenever the system detects an unusual authentication activity or login attempt.
For instance, if an unauthorized user tries to access an individual’s account multiple times by hit and trial passwords or access the report from an unusual geographical location, the adaptive authentication mechanism kicks in and automatically increases account security.
Now, the user has to go through another authentication process to prove their identity, safeguarding their privacy. And here’s where cybercriminals fail to bypass the unexpected layer of authentication.
You can prefer relying on MFA with adaptive authentication to reinforce your customer data and privacy security.
With the changing digital landscape, the security of user identity and sensitive business information is becoming an uphill battle for service providers. Conventional password-based authentication security isn’t the answer to modern-day cyberattacks and identity thefts.
Hence, businesses must consider relying on an authentication mechanism that can overcome the challenges associated with password-based authentication. The authentication mentioned above mechanisms, like passwordless authentication, MFA with adaptive authentication, and password managers, can be game changers for businesses for reinforcing authentication security and enhancing overall customer experience.