There are a lot of things that online businesses must consider to remain profitable, successful, and competitive. One of the most overlooked aspects is authentication. Following the best practices when it comes to authentication is important for customers and businesses alike. Customers want to make sure their data is safe while businesses could lose face and damage their reputation if they have lax security. But what are the best practices that online businesses should follow when it comes to authentication?
The first practical implication for having a strong authentication is that customers understand that you are a secure site. Personal and financial information is important, and many site users actively look for this before they begin to use a site. Many businesses are moving away from passwords, which are proving to be troublesome. Not only has password crime increased but forgetting passwords often costs the business. The best kinds of authentication solutions are standards-based, such as FIDO2. This means that customers only have to be authenticated once by an identity provider. FIDO2’s passwordless authentication means that users have lower risk and enhanced security. Psychologically, the use of newer tech also indicates to customers that the business is at the forefront of the industry.
One of the most important things to note about authentication is that there is no one size fits all solution. The solution will be dependent on the business, its industry, and its customer base. More rigorous authentication will be necessary for banks, for instance, than businesses that merely store your name and email. Choosing the right authentication software can therefore aid your business in delivering powerful user experiences that are reflective of your business. The aim of such software is to give customers peace of mind that you are secure while informing them of this and allowing them to interact with authentication features in as easy a manner as possible.
Arguably the most important of these issues is the need for an easy user experience. The authentication flow should be seamless and hassle-free. One of the best examples of this form of simple and adaptive experience is the authentication that smartphones allow. Users who sign up to a site may have a code texted through, which their phone plucks out and inputs automatically. Many smartphones also have biometric authentication, so users can cycle through necessary security measures using their thumbprints. This provides better security – you can’t guess a thumbprint – while ensuring that customers have the fastest experience they possibly can.
Customers care about security. But they also care about having a seamless experience. Security measures shouldn’t hinder customers, especially when there are provable ways that show they don’t have to. When ensuring authentication is optimized, online businesses should also make the experience easy, consider a customized solution, and amp up the security to not be solely focused on passwords. Following these steps can ensure that businesses remain secure but don’t lose custom through time-consuming or unnecessarily annoying authentication steps.
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