April 10, 2023

Anonybit Team

What Is Device Based Verification? Does it Secure Your Systems From Cyberattacks?

Blog aged woman trying to log in using Device Based Verification

Biometric authentication techniques are revolutionizing how we secure our devices, ensuring that only authorized users have access. A reliable authentication method is vital in areas where security breaches are a real threat. In this blog post, we will explore device based verification, one way that is used to ensure secure access to your accounts.

Assessing Anonybit’s identity management platform is a good starting point for understanding and comparing different authentication methods, benefits, and best practices. 

What Is Device Based Verification?

woman with phone using Device Based Verification

Device verification involves establishing trust in device identities to ensure they are genuine and legitimate before allowing them to connect to a network or system. It plays a crucial role in cybersecurity, focusing on validating devices’ identities to safeguard against potential threats.

The Evolving Threat Landscape of Connected Devices

In our digitally interconnected world, the proliferation of Internet of Things (IoT) devices like smartphones, tablets, and smart TVs has heightened the risk of cyber threats. These devices are no longer passive recipients of data but active participants capable of processing and transmitting information. 

Securing the Expanding Attack Surface

Consequently, the increased number of connected devices poses a greater security risk, creating more entry points for cybercriminals to exploit systems. In this context, device authentication is beneficial and indispensable for maintaining digital systems’ security, functionality, and privacy.

Authenticating devices allow organizations to restrict network access to only authenticated devices, preventing unauthorized devices— which could be carrying malware or controlled by malicious actors—from compromising system integrity.

Methods of Device Verification

Several methods of device verification exist, including:

  • Password-based authentication
  • Certificate-based authentication
  • Two-factor authentication
  • Biometric authentication

Biometric authentication, such as fingerprint or facial recognition, is regarded as the most secure mode of authentication to safeguard against cyber threats. At Anonybit, we advocate for biometric authentication as a robust defense against cyber attacks. However, if using device-based biometrics, the system cannot tell who is behind the device and whether the person is the same person who has registered, or if the device owner has obtained false credentials for access.

This is an important point for designing secure enterprise systems and is one of the weaknesses of the FIDO protocol. 

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How Does Device Based Verification Work?

asian man learning about Device Based Verification

Device verification is verifying a device’s identity to ensure that only authorized devices are allowed to access certain resources or perform specific actions. The authentication process typically involves the following steps:

1. Identification

The device sends an identification request to the authentication server. This request includes some form of unique identifier, such as a MAC address or serial number.

2. Verification

The authentication server checks the identification request against a list of authorized devices or credentials. This is typically done by verifying the device’s digital signature or certificate.

3. Authorization

The authentication server grants access to the requested resources or actions if the device is successfully authenticated. This can be done by assigning the device a token or session ID that allows it to access the authorized resources.

Enhanced Security and User Experience for Enterprise Authentication

At Anonybit, our decentralized biometrics system design helps companies prevent data breaches and account takeover fraud. With a decentralized biometrics solution, companies can enable passwordless login, wire verification, step-up authentication, and help desk authentication. We are on a mission to protect companies from data breaches, account takeovers, and synthetic identity fraud.

To achieve this goal, we offer security solutions such as:

  • Secure storage of biometrics and PII data
  • Support for the entire user lifecycle
  • 1:1 biometric authentication and 1:N biometric matching to prevent duplicates, synthetics and blocklisted identities 

Anonybit eliminates the tradeoffs between privacy and security. Prevent data breaches, enable strong authentication for eliminating account takeovers, and enhance the user experience across the enterprise using Anonybit. 

Book a free demo today to learn more about our integrated identity management platform.

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What Are The Benefits Of Device Verification?

trying to log into twitter - Device Based Verification

Device verification offers several benefits in biometric authentication techniques. 

Bolstered Security

Its enhanced security helps prevent unauthorized access to sensitive resources and data. Only authorized devices can connect to a network or access certain resources, reducing the risk of data breaches. This method improves regulatory compliance as it helps comply with regulations demanding strong authentication methods.  In an enterprise environment where devices are registered to specific users, this approach may be sufficient, but if higher levels of identity are required, then device verification can be combined with decentralized biometrics to provide proper multi-factor authentication.

This also leads to better control over network access, enabling organizations to manage network access more efficiently reducing security incidents caused by unauthorized devices.

Device-based verification plays a vital role in organizations’ overall security posture, protecting data and resources from unauthorized access.

Common Issues With Device Based Verification

man walking and using Device Based Verification

Device based verification presents various challenges and potential security risks when it comes to verifying users’ identities. 

Limited Identity Assurance

The verification process essentially hinges on confirming that the individual possessing the device is a legitimate user. This method fails to establish the person’s true identity, only confirming that they can access the device. For instance, an individual could share their device with someone else, such as a partner or friend, allowing multiple fingerprints from different individuals to be registered on the device. This shared access compromises the user’s security and exposes their private data.

Vulnerability to Theft and Fraud

The security of device-based verification becomes even more vulnerable in cases of device theft. Today’s fraudsters employ sophisticated methods to gain unauthorized access to devices, such as brute-forcing their way through PINs and passwords. Once they successfully unlock the device, fraudsters can access the victim’s sensitive information stored within. Since users rarely log out of their applications, fraudsters can easily take over accounts, posing severe risks to the user’s personal and financial security.

3 Best Practices For Implementing Device Verification & Biometric Authentication

woman trying to use Device Based Verification

Implementing device verification and authentication requires organizations to consider the level of security they want to achieve, customer usability, and any potential impact on business. Verification or Authentication that trades off security for ease of use can leave a business vulnerable to hacking and fraud and the hard hit on brand reputation accompanying breaches. Authentication that prioritizes security over usability can result in fewer customers using their account, reduced revenues, and, ultimately, customers moving to a competitor. Some best practices can help businesses satisfy both security requirements and customers:

1. Focus on User Experience (UX)

Customers should be able to open and access their accounts with minimum friction. Factors that increase friction can be different on mobile devices vs. computers. For example, a password that can be easily typed on a laptop keyboard may become frustrating on a mobile phone keypad. 

An OTP that requires the computer user to access their mobile phone or check their email could be easily pulled from an SMS on a mobile device.If there is the possibility that the device is used by more than one person, then it is critical to include another factor that is not on the device. 

2. Leverage Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)

As the name implies, device two-factor authentication increases security by requiring a combination of two authentication factors before access is granted. A common use case: once a customer has entered a password, they are also asked to enter an OTP sent to them via SMS. 

Combining something the customer knows, like a password that’s vulnerable to being stolen, with something they have – a physical phone or tablet that a fraudster is unlikely to steal or possess – 2FA is meant to provide an added level of account security, but in practice, fraudsters often times are able to “takeover” a device either via malware or via a SIM swap, in which case standard 2FA is rendered pointless. 

3. Use Passwordless Authentication

To completely eliminate vulnerabilities from the authentication equation, it is necessary to implement other approaches, such as passwordless, biometrics, passkeys, and sometimes PINs. Biometrics provides the highest level of security. These improve security and offer easy usability for customers. The use of passwordless authentication is increasing rapidly. 

The UK National Cyber Security Center (NCSC) recently issued new guidelines to help businesses create a passwordless customer authentication experience. In its report Take 3 Steps Toward Passwordless Authentication, Gartner Research estimates that by 2025, 50% of the workforce and 20% of customer authentications will be passwordless, up from 10% just a few years ago. Passwordless authentication is, by far, the most secure and user-friendly authentication method available to businesses.

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Book A Free Demo To Learn More About Our Integrated Identity Management Platform

At Anonybit, we help companies prevent data breaches and account takeover fraud with our decentralized biometrics technology. With our decentralized biometrics framework, companies can enable passwordless login, wire verification, step-up authentication, help desk authentication, and more. 

Comprehensive Security Solutions for Companies

We aim to protect companies from data breaches, account takeovers, synthetic identity on the rise, privacy regulations, and digital transformation. To achieve this goal, we offer security solutions such as:

  • Secure storage of biometrics and PII data
  • Support for the entire user lifecycle
  • 1:1 authentication and 1:N matching for lookups and deduplication

Balancing Privacy and Security with Anonybit’s Integrated Platform

Anonybit eliminates the tradeoffs between privacy and security. Prevent data breaches, reduce account takeover fraud, and enhance the user experience across the enterprise using Anonybit. 

Book a free demo today to learn more about our integrated identity management platform.

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