Security

Authentication-As-A-Service

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Executive Summary

Traditionally, web users have been authenticated with the use of a username and a password. This enables them to gain access to a resource or to log in. The traditional approach to authentication provides lesser trust and security for the consumers; passwords can be too short, easy to guess or manipulate. This paper discusses Authentication-as-Service (AaaS) as a solution to these challenges. With an aim of understanding the market implications of authentication-as-a-service, Forrester consulting was commissioned by VeriSign to evaluate present approaches to authentication, the challenges faced by companies while authenticating and their understandings and perceptions of AaaS. Attaching a second factor credential to the authentication procedure tackles such challenges with passwords. This credential is typically a one time security code or password on a credentials like cell phones, hardware tokens/cards etc. This is commonly known as two-Factor Authentication (2FA). According to the paper, it makes authentication more secure and enforces a higher level of belief and trust between various online businesses and the consumers. One such 2FA solution is known as AaaS. AaaS is a service that provides on- demand verification via one-time passwords. The paper concludes that AaaS shall help beef up authentication and improve trust between companies and consumers.

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