Methods of Authentication

This article calls the authentication factors we are familiar with the ownership factor, knowledge factor, and inherence factor. These names relate to something you have, something you know, and something you are, respectively.

System Fundamentals For Cyber Security/Authentication/Methods of Authentication

The ways in which someone may be authenticated fall into three categories, known as the factors of authentication:

  • The ownership factor - Something the user has
  • The knowledge factor - Something the user knows
  • The Inherence factor - Something the user is or does

Each authentication factor covers a range of elements used to authenticate or verify a person's identity prior to being granted access, approving a transaction request, signing a document or other product, granding authority to others, or establishing a chain of authority.

Security research has determined that for a positive authentication, elements from at least two, and preferably all three, factors should be verified.

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