Strong Authentication and Strong Passwordless Authentication from authID

Strong Authentication

Consumers and businesses alike conduct numerous transactions and share and store sensitive information online. The advent of digital wallets and cryptocurrency has resulted in even more online transactions. In the digital environment, hacking and data breaches have become much more prevalent, leading to significant losses, data breaches, identity theft, and more. In 2023 alone, more than 353 million people were affected by data breaches, data compromises, and the exposure of personal identifying information. The global average cost of a single data breach in 2023 rose to $4.45 million, which was an increase of 15% over three years. Increasingly sophisticated hacking attempts have led to the need for better authentication to improve security and prevent intrusions by bad actors. Strong authentication methods are critical for protecting individuals and business organizations from cyber attacks.

What is Authentication?

Traditional authentication involves proving the identity of the computer or user to the client or server. Typically, this entails entering a username and password. Servers use authentication to verify the identity of the person or computer accessing its site or server. Once the server confirms the individual’s identity, it will then authorize the individual to access the site or server.

Several issues exist with traditional authentication methods, including:

  • Weak passwords that are vulnerable to guessing, theft, and social engineering attacks
  • Ability of an attacker to laterally move through a system after compromising the account of a user with high access privileges
  • Internal threats from employees misusing their access privileges
  • Individuals using the same passwords across multiple types of accounts
  • Lack of monitoring and auditing capabilities

The problems with traditional authentication have led to new authentication methods, including strong authentication.

What is Strong Authentication?

Strong authentication is a common term without a standard definition, but it generally refers to a method to verify a user’s or device’s identity that is inherently strong enough to protect the system’s security and prevent potential attacks. Strong authentication combines two or more independent factors. This is done to prevent the compromising of one factor from also resulting in the compromise of the second factor.

Strong authentication must use one factor that can’t be reused and which can’t be stolen or reproduced over the internet. Strong authentication is sometimes used interchangeably with the term ‘multi-factor authentication’. However, there is an important distinction. Strong authentication does not have to use two or more separate factors and can instead involve several instances of the same type of factor.

For example, some systems ask multiple questions a user must answer to authenticate them. Even though this involves multiple uses of a single factor, it still qualifies as strong authentication. Similarly, other systems use a single biometric factor such as a retinal scan or fingerprint, which are also considered to be strong authentication methods since they can’t be easily stolen or reproduced over the internet. Strong authentication can also involve requiring a PIN or security token in addition to a user’s password.

How Does Strong Authentication Work?

Many organizations no longer require a single type of authentication like a username or password. Instead, modern systems typically require two or more types of authentication, including:

  • Knowledge factors, including username, passwords, and PINs
  • Possession factors, including security tokens, email verification codes, and SMS verification codes
  • Inherent factors, including biometrics like retinal scans and fingerprints

These technologies might be combined in a secure, centralized system as a requirement for logging in to numerous sites.

One issue is that the authentication of a user doesn’t guarantee the system’s security. For example, email phishing can trick individual users into revealing their passwords, thus bypassing the system’s security protocols. Strong authentication is designed to prevent this issue by going beyond multiple authentication forms and passwords. It can also be passwordless, such as strong fido2 passwordless authentication, or cryptographic, such as crypto wallet strong authentication. More details about these two strong authentication methods will be provided below.

Strong Passwordless Authentication

Strong Passwordless Authentication

Passwordless authentication doesn’t rely on a knowledge factor for a user to gain access to a system. instead, the system will require the user to provide something they possess to authenticate them, including biometric data, security tokens, certificates, or one-time passwords (OTPs). As a result, it is considered stronger than using a combination of a username and password. Security Magazine reports that 92% of businesses believe passwordless authentication is the wave of the future.

Passwords are vulnerable to multiple types of attacks, including keyloggers, phishing, brute force algorithms, and credential stuffing. Passwordless authentication avoids these issues and is more secure than traditional authentication methods.

Passwordless authentication works by implementing public-key cryptography, which securely manages and stores the user’s authentication. Upon registration, the user is assigned a combination of a public and private key. They can subsequently only access the public key by using the private key associated with the user’s device.

Process and Steps to Implement

The process of implementing strong authentication within an organization can be expensive. This makes it necessary for businesses to engage in key steps to scale up their authentication methods and enhance security.

Before choosing the methods to use, companies should undergo strategic planning. It is much more cost-effective to implement strong authentication enterprise-wide rather than implementing it in single applications, which can be redundant. The organization should determine the solution to use while considering how a user is initially authenticated, how they are authenticated while accessing other applications or segments of the infrastructure, how they are authenticated when accessing external resources, and how they are authenticated when accessing internal resources.

The organization can then use a single sign-on and identity federation through which they can securely share authentication information across the organization’s applications and systems without requiring the implementation of the solution on each system separately. The organization should consider the expense of implementing solutions and consider non-technical factors, including budgetary concerns, policies, and responsibilities.

Tactical planning is the next phase and should involve the identification of the organization’s current capabilities and the cataloging of the systems and applications as they currently stand. The organization should then choose the strong authentication method that best fits its regulatory requirements and its environment. Finally, it should design a transition plan before moving to the execution phase.

Execution should involve short-term, mid-term, and long-term actions, including acquiring hardware, applications, and licenses, cataloging business processes to be managed by a central system, implementing strong authentication for the organization’s high-value users and systems, and continuing to migrate systems and applications to the strong authentication protocol.

Types of Strong Authentication

Strong FIDO2 Passwordless Authentication

Strong FIDO2 passwordless authentication was developed from the Fast Identity Online (FIDO), which are authentication protocols developers and consumers can use online to implement passwordless authentication methods. It is specifically used with desktop computers or mobile devices to authenticate user identity securely. This type of authentication is more secure than traditional passwords while also making it easier to log into applications and websites.

Providers can use FIDO 2 passwordless authentication protocols to implement multi-factor authentication (MFA) and combine multiple methods for improved security, including:

  • Passkeys
  • Biometrics
  • QR codes
  • Web authentication protocol (Web Authn protocol)
  • Security keys

Strong FIDO2 Passwordless Device Authentication

FIDO2 passwordless authentication can also be used to authenticate a user’s mobile device to promote onboarding authentication between the mobile device and an IoT device for strong FIDO2 passwordless device authentication. In this authentication type, a small plug-in with cryptographic markers is placed on the device, which can then be used as a second verification factor during authentication.

Wire Transfer Strong Authentication

For wire transfers, single-factor authentication, including a traditional username and password, provides inadequate security. This is true even when a bank requires a user to input a username and password to initiate the transfer and a separate username and password to receive it. Wire fraud strong authentication requires more. Implementing two-factor authentication (2FA) can reduce the risk, but it is still not as secure as wire transfer strong authentication. Incorporating wire fraud strong authentication into the security protocols for wire transfers can vastly enhance security.

Crypto Wallet Strong Authentication

Wallet strong authentication provides enhanced security for a user’s crypto wallet by requiring a public and private passkey. The user is assigned a private passkey that they must use to access the public passkey. Wallet strong authentication prevents hackers from accessing the user’s crypto wallet by stealing passwords or engaging in phishing attacks.

Digital Wallet Strong Authentication

Many people rely on digital wallets stored in their mobile devices to complete contactless payments. Digital wallet strong authentication protects the information in the user’s digital wallet without them having to input a password or passcode to make payments by transmitting one-time codes through the user’s mobile card chip.

Is Strong Authentication More Secure Than 2FA and MFA?

Strong authentication is a type of two-factor or multi-factor authentication that enhances security. Strong authentication requires the use of a minimum of two or more factors of different types to authenticate the user rather than two or more of the same type. For example, the user might provide something they know such as a pin, something inherent such as a retinal scan, or something they have such as a security token. Combining two or three factors of different types makes it much more difficult for hackers to steal and use information to gain access.

Strong Authentication Platforms and Companies

How Google Does It

In addition to requiring users to input a username and password, Google provides an additional two-step verification procedure for strong authentication. Once a user enters their username and password, Google sends a code by text or voice message. The user must then input the code within a limited time to gain access once they are authenticated.

How Microsoft Does It

The Microsoft Authenticator allows administrators to choose from eight different authentication factors. The administrator chooses an authentication strength to access a sensitive resource combined with in-built anti-phishing authentication strengths.

Git Hub

To add code on Git Hub, users must first establish a two-factor authentication method using a time-based one-time password (TOTP). After downloading the TOTP app, the user will then set up two-factor authentication by scanning a QR code. The TOTP app will then save the user’s account on the Git Hub platform and generate an authentication code that must be typed in to verify it. The user must then download recovery codes to their device.

How authID Does It

AuthID uses strong passwordless authentication by requiring a combination of biometrics, FIDO2 device strong authentication, and cryptographic security that is phishing-resistant. Requiring the biometric verification in addition to the device-based authentication establishes a secure authentication chain before a user is authorized.

How VISA Does It

VISA uses strong authentication in the U.K. and Europe by requiring banks to authenticate users by a minimum of two factors, including a factor they know, something they possess, and something inherent. If a bank can’t verify a user with a minimum of two factors, their payment to a business will be declined.

Pros and Cons of Strong Authentication


Strong authentication offers the following advantages:

  • Phishing-resistant
  • Enhanced security
  • Increased flexibility
  • Maintain regulatory compliance


Two potential disadvantages include the following:

  • If email is used, the email might be from the same device the user is using to authenticate
  • Might rely on a susceptible email

The Future of Strong Authentication

FIDO2 biometric passkeys will become more common as highly secure alternatives that are

also user-friendly. This will pave the way for an increased embrace of passwordless authentication. During the transition period away from passwords, organizations will need to balance strong security and a smooth user experience.

Strong Authentication Use Cases

The following are some examples of horizontal uses of strong authentication:

1. Age Verification

Strong authentication can be used by combining facial and biometric authentication systems to verify a user’s identity and age. A company can work with an age verification provider that offers advanced security tools that allow the business to maintain regulatory compliance while offering services and products online.

2. Fighting Deep Fakes

AI has led to a new wrinkle for security with the proliferation of deep fakes. These are difficult to combat and require a layered approach that uses multiple types of data and signals. Companies must look at the device’s trustworthiness, the user’s location, the user’s phone number, and their behavior across several interactions. Comparing a user’s behavior during the current interaction to past ones can help to identify suspicious behavior. Strong authentication methods, including device-based authentication, biometrics, and others can increase security and help combat deep fakes.

3. Workforce Authentication

Strong workforce authentication has become increasingly important as more people work from home today than ever. Employee strong authentication should be seamless and user-friendly, which passwordless authentication can offer. In employee strong authentication, knowledge-based authentication is eliminated because credentials can’t be shared, stolen, or phished. Employer strong authentication requirements help to secure the access of at-home employees and protect the organization’s sensitive information from hackers. Employer strong authentication protocols can also improve the employee experience as they work remotely.

4. Onboarding Strong Authentication

In user onboarding, the user will be welcomed to an application with a set of interactions or instructions. The goal is to provide the user with an overview of the application’s benefits and set their expectations for a positive experience. Onboarding strong authentication helps to provide a seamless user experience while increasing security. This can be used for both remote and digital user onboarding.

What Vertical Industries Do We Support?

At authID, we serve multiple vertical industries, including:

1. Mortgage Lenders

Mortgage lenders must comply with stringent regulations while dealing with highly sensitive customer financial and identity information. This makes strong authentication critical to prevent data breaches and losses. Passwordless strong authentication enhances security and helps to protect both consumers and lenders from hacking, phishing, identity theft, and substantial financial losses.

2. Healthcare Organizations

Healthcare organizations, including hospitals and medical practices, must comply with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and numerous other strict regulations to protect the security and privacy of sensitive patient information. A strong authentication platform helps to protect the security of electronic medical records (EMR) and facilitates the smooth sharing of medical information between a patient’s medical providers.

3. Consumer Banking

Banks and credit unions must provide high levels of security for consumers when they access their account information online. Implementing strong protocols through passwordless authentication can help prevent identity theft and losses from intrusions by bad actors.

4. Business Banking

Like consumer banking, banks and other financial institutions must implement stringent security protocols when authenticating businesses that conduct transactions online. Losses from data breaches when businesses engage in online transactions can be staggering. A strong authentication platform can make the authentication process seamless while increasing security and facilitating regulatory compliance.

5. Online Dating

Online dating sites have proliferated and are a major way people make connections. However, users must be authenticated to ensure they are who they claim to be. Fake accounts opened by criminals can be used to obtain a victim’s photos and then blackmail them to send cash to prevent photos from publication. Requiring stringent authentication of users helps to deter criminals because they can be easily traced and reported when they attempt to engage in scams.

6. Facilities Management

Strong authentication allows administrators to confirm the user’s identity in situations in which passwords are inadequate. IT experts and facility managers collaborate to develop and manage effective security protocols to enhance the facility’s cybersecurity framework as more internet-connected devices are added.


Strong Authentication Companies

Some examples of strong authentication companies include the following:

  • Google – Google uses a passwordless sign-in process with passkeys, including fingerprints, to allow users to sign into all of their accounts securely.
  • Apple – Apple allows users to turn on two-factor authentication to ensure their Apple ID has an added layer of security.
  • AWS – AWS allows users to turn on multi-factor authentication to add security when accessing AWS resources.
  • IBM – IBM allows organizations to configure strong authentication setups with one-time passwords and mobile codes.
  • AuthID – AuthID provides enterprise authentication solutions with its Verified Identity platform.

Strong Authentication Software and Strong Authentication Tools

Strong authentication software reliably and safely confirms user identity. It is never based solely on a symmetric or shared key such as a code, password, or recovery questions. Instead, these tools assume that impersonation and credential phishing tasks are inevitable and work to aggressively defend against them.

Researching Strong Authentication Software

When researching strong authentication software, organizations should look for solutions built on standards-based authentication protocols and crypto algorithms because they have undergone expert scrutiny such as FIDO2. The solution should also reduce management and administrative overhead, and access to all sensitive information must be authenticated. When choosing a multifactor software solution, you should look for the following factors:

  • Ease of implementation
  • Adaptive capabilities
  • Role- and cloud-based MFA tools
  • Customizability
  • Hard and soft tokens
  • Organizational and industry fit

About AuthID

AuthID provides strong passwordless authentication solutions to enterprises in multiple industries. The company has received numerous awards and has developed the strongest phishing-resistant authentication solutions available on the market. Verified Workforce and Verified Consumer provide enterprise-level security and authentication solutions for a seamless, highly secure experience. AuthID clients include companies in numerous industries, including call centers, healthcare facilities, banks, fintech, and more.

Why Choose AuthID?

When you choose AuthID, your organization will benefit from the leading provider in the industry. Our authentication and security solutions are the strongest available, allowing you to feel more confident in your organization’s cybersecurity. To learn more about our solutions, contact us today.