What is Token-Based Authentication?
In order to reduce the weaknesses and risks of password-based authentication, there have been various different methods have been created. While each authentication method is unique, all fall under one of the following three categories: knowledge (something you know), inheritance (something you are), and possession (something you own). Password authentication falls within the knowledge category because users depend on a word or phrase they have created and are aware of to verify their identity. On the contrary, authentication using biometrics, such as fingerprints, is an instance of “something you are” due to its use of biological traits. Last but not least, token-based authentication belongs in the possession category. Token developer malaysia authentication requires users to obtain a computer-generated code, known as a token before they are granted access to a network or a resource. Token-based authentication is usually used in combination with password authentication as part of two-factor authentication (2FA).
Benefits of Token-Based Authentication
The main advantage of token-based authentication is that it removes reliance on weak login capabilities. It can help organizations move towards a passwordless approach to identity and access management by offering a strong multi-factor authentication factor that can complement biometrics, push notifications, and more. Token-based authentication is mostly beneficial to mobile apps and platform-as-a-service (PaaS) applications. It streamlines the process of securing access to on-premise or cloud-based applications and enables organizations to actively adopt digital transformation initiatives by safely sharing their information through APIs with a wide range of customers, partners and suppliers beyond the traditional corporate perimeter.
Other than the benefits stated above, tokens are stateless, tokens can be generated anywhere and tokens provide fine-grained access control. The token is self-contained and contains all the information required for authentication. This is great for scalability as it removes the burden from the server to store session state. The generation of the tokens is decoupled from token verification allowing individuals the option to handle the signing of tokens on a separate server or even through a different company. Tokens provide a fine-grained access control since within the token payload, individuals can easily specify user roles and permissions as well as resources that the user can access, providing a seamless user authentication experience.
How to Manage Tokens?
For the strategy to truly be successful, adoption and adherence to identity and credential protection best practices are required. Below are a few factors to consider when deploying a token-based authentication strategy.
Select the right token.
With many available options to choose from, selecting the right token-based authentication method is an utilization that should include factors like business environment, security, scalability, user experience, and cost of ownership.
Keep it private.
A token should be treated the same way user credentials are. Protecting the security and integrity of your tokens is the cornerstone of an effective IAM strategy.
Set an expiration date.
Technically, once a token is signed, it is valid forever, unless the signing key is changed, or expiration is already set. To prevent authentication issues due to expired tokens, organizations should have policies and automated solutions for monitoring these credentials and revoking tokens.