Businesses are becoming increasingly digital and secure authentication is now a necessity, not an option. But we have passwords to secure our resources, right? If you are using passwords as part of your authentication process, you’re leaving a crack in the door and giving malicious actors access to your entire system. In fact, 81% of hacking-related breaches leverage stolen or weak passwords and successful phishing attacks rely on the ability to steal credentials or take over sessions.
The solution? Cryptographically binding identities to devices to replace insecure passwords and other phishable factors.
Traditional authentication methods no longer work
The days of relying on passwords to secure accounts are over. Even the most robust passwords are now compromisable by malicious actors, leaving your data and resources vulnerable. Traditional authentication methods are ineffective and they cost your organization.
Passwords don’t work because:
- They are easily forgotten, leading to lost time for password resets and increased help desk tickets
- Password fatigue and reuse make it easier for cyber-criminals to gain access to multiple accounts
- Phishing attacks convince users to share credentials through the use of malicious websites or social engineering
- You have to store passwords, and those databases are another point of weakness
- The Ponemon Institute's 2020 State of Password and Authentication Security Behaviors Report surveyed 3,000 users and revealed that almost half (42%) write their work passwords on sticky notes to help them remember their credentials.
- Shared secrets of any kind are vulnerable to compromise
- They are also susceptible to dictionary attacks, brute force attacks, or rainbow table attacks
- The time between password changes means compromised accounts have an increased window of potential compromise
- A study conducted by Google revealed that almost 60% of users use their birthdate as their password.
And that’s just the issues with passwords. Hardware keys, which add an extra level of security, are expensive for larger organizations to purchase, distribute, and replace. Other factors used in traditional MFA are also vulnerable. SIM hacking, malware injection, notification flooding, and other attacks show the weaknesses of phishable factors.
Binding identity for secure authentication
Cryptographic authentication (also known as key-based authentication) allows you to confirm that the user accessing your resources is who they say they are by verifying their possession of a cryptographic credential embedded on their device.
Binding identity to a device at enrollment, and for each new device the user attaches their credentials to, creates an unbreakable link between device and identity using public-private keys. This binding ensures the identity of both the device and the user are verifiable, securing your data and resources with phishing-resistant factors.
A signed attestation for the public key ensures that faithful binding between the user and hardware pair cannot be tampered with, copied, or modified by outsiders. Identity binding provides greater reliability than passwords as it creates an unbreakable link between the user and device, meaning that even if one layer of security is breached, other layers remain intact, preventing unauthorized access.
Establishing zero trust authentication to protect your resources
Identity binding is not only an effective authentication solution. Utilizing zero trust authentication reduces attacks, reduces the amount of time your employees spend dealing with login issues, and it helps you deploy security policies quickly and efficiently.
- Setup of accounts and password management across workgroups (contractors, employees, consultants, and agents) can be challenging. Identity binding ensures a smoother and more secure setup process across your workforce and provides a more efficient way to control access levels.
- By cryptographically binding developer identities to trusted devices, you can ensure authentication to code repositories is locked down and, as a result, remove the possibility of supply chain-based attacks.
- Users regularly forget passwords (we're all human), requiring a help desk or IT support representative to reset them. Not only does identity binding eliminate this requirement, it can also reduce the likelihood of account takeovers and minimize revenue loss.
Beyond Identity provides identity binding based on asymmetric cryptography using biometrics and the Trusted Platform Module (TPM), which signs a trusted certificate with the private key for validation to pair with a public key. This passwordless, phishing-resistant MFA solution helps our customers bolster their security and reduce the risk of account takeovers.
We leverage our FIDO2-certified libraries and Authenticator to ensure trust in the device and identity. Beyond Identity integrates with extended detection and response (XDR) and Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA) solutions to deliver risk-based policies, improve your organization’s security posture, and minimize revenue loss from a breach. It's like having a trusty locksmith at your side: you'll never have to worry about anyone getting into places they don't belong or compromising sensitive information ever again.