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4 Security Authentication Updates for 2020


No matter what kind of business you have, it's crucial to stay abreast of what's happening regarding security authentication. Updating your practices helps keep your data safe from hackers while ensuring that only the appropriate parties can see information associated with your company. 

Here are four security authentication updates that are likely to shape 2020, as well as remain prominent for the foreseeable future. 

1. An Uptick in Adoption of the FIDO Standard

The FIDO (Fast Identity Online) standard is a set of technology-agnostic security standards focusing on strong authentication. A nonprofit group called the FIDO Alliance is behind the approach, and it's hosting a FIDO conference called Authenticate 2020 in June. 

To get an idea of how FIDO works in a real-world application, you only need to consider that Aetna used it to keep its users more secure. The health brand's system used a risk-analysis tool with six layers of protection, and it set baselines for user behavior after only two weeks. If an Aetna user did something not consistent with past actions, the FIDO standard might not let them proceed.

Due to well-known brands like Aetna starting to use FIDO, plus the upcoming conference this summer, you should expect that more people will consider this authentication option when making security updates. Now is an excellent time to learn about the FIDO standard and how it might apply to your business. 

2. Improvements in App-Based Authentication

Authorized users of some apps can make security tweaks to restrict what those applications allow other people to do. Anticipate seeing more of that happening in 2020. For example, as of June 2020, Google will limit the ability of less-secure apps (LSA) to access G Suite account data. Those are applications that, before this change happens, can get G Suite login information with only an email and a password. 

As of June 15, 2020, people will no longer be able to connect a new LSA to G Suite, but all LSAs already connected by that date will still function. When Feb. 15, 2021, arrives, no LSAs linked to G Suite will continue working. 

In another example of beefed-up security for an application, Ring, the brand associated with security doorbells, will soon offer a Control Center portion of its product apps. An authorized user can see who is logged into a Ring account and log them out from here. 

They can also set up two-factor authentication. Ring offered that feature previously, but people could not enable it from the app. The Control Center will reportedly also let users manage their third-party and connected devices or specify whether police officers can request video from a Ring device. 

Since people are becoming more concerned about the security of the apps they use, there will likely be more app-centric ways to make relevant changes and do so in only a few steps. Staying abreast of what's new is a good preliminary step to take when deciding which app-related security adjustments your company should make. 

3. More Interest in Multifactor Authentication

Single authentication methods only require a password. However, multifactor authentication requires hackers to crack several layers of security before accessing sensitive information. Many company leaders realize that single-factor authentication is no longer sufficient. 

MarketsandMarkets looked at the multifactor authentication market for the period through 2025. Analysts at the company anticipate a 14.9% combined annual growth rate. If your business does not already use multifactor authentication regularly, seriously consider updating your processes this year. 

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4. Using Biometrics for Mobile-Based Payments

You'll come across varying opinions regarding how close security experts think we are to a future without passwords. Many say there's no time to waste in reaching that point. Some companies are already moving forward with various methods of security authentication that do not require a person to type in a password. 

One of the goals of the FIDO Alliance mentioned above is to reduce the world's over-reliance on passwords. Instead, a person could say a word or undergo a fingerprint scan, both of which are biometric authentication options. Those identity verification methods are especially convenient to use when relying on a smartphone to pay for something.

A December 2019 press release from Juniper Research anticipates a nearly 1,000% increase in the number of mobile transactions authenticated via biometrics by 2024. That rise would equal 2.5 trillion payments. If your company accepts money from customers, consider whether you might do so with biometrics.

Updates Worth Exploring

Options for security authentication are continually changing and usually improving. It's ideal to stay informed about these four options moving forward.