Improve Network Security with these Authentication Methods

Organizations that rely only on passwords as a safeguard are highly vulnerable. The combination of technological advances and users who select weak passwords make measures such as brute-force attacks and packet-sniffing valid tactics to defeat password-only protection. Applying additional levels of security is a requirement for any company that wants to prevent a security breach. Pathway Communications’ managed IT Toronto services include fortifying our clients’ cyber security.


Biometrics involve using a part of the user’s body – such as a fingerprint, a retina, or the face – to confirm the user’s identity. Biometrics are difficult to copy, but they require specialized equipment that will increase the company’s overhead. A managed IT Toronto provider can help manage the costs of the biometrics upgrades.

Token Authentication

A token is a small electronic device – such as an RFID card or a dongle card – which directly interacts with a locked piece of hardware – such as a laptop or workstation. Like biometrics, token authentication is incredibly difficult to copy. However, the effectiveness of token authentication relies on the user’s cooperation; losing tokens locks the user out of the system, and users who loan their tokens to others neutralize the security benefits.

Transaction Authentication

Transaction authentication utilizes the user’s historical activities to detect irregular trends in recent activities. Credit card companies employ this when they warn users of purchases and charges that deviate from the user’s standard buying behaviors. Transaction authentication does not require additional action from the user since the execution of transaction authentication is performed by third-party security firms. Cybercriminals who can successfully portray themselves as their victims, however, can fraudulently approve transactions and reactivate locked cards.

Multi-Factor Authentication

Multi-factor authentication requires a user to use an external device to confirm their identity after successfully entering their password. Common methods of multi-factor authentication include inputting a code sent by the system via a text message, using an external device such as a smartphone to confirm the user’s identity, and using an authentication application to retrieve and enter a randomly generated code. Multi-factor authentication can be simple to implement, but a lost or stolen device associated with multi-factor authentication will allow a cybercriminal to bypass the security measure.

Out-Of-Band Authentication (OOB Authentication)

OOB authentication is a subset of multi-factor authentication which performs the verification phases outside of the device being verified. Financial institutions with online access employ OOB authentication by requiring laptop and desktop users to confirm deposits, withdrawals, and transfers with verifications via smartphone or other external devices. OOB authentication is cheap and easy to apply, but a cybercriminal that can steal or emulate the external devices can bypass the additional security level.

Pathway Communications provides managed IT Toronto administrations. Our managed IT support services – which include 24-hour support and swift response times – are supervised by our team of technical support experts, who can help our clients decide on security measures that are best suited for their operations and resources. To learn how our managed IT support Toronto experience can reduce risks and overhead, contact us.


Written by michael miller