Authentication on websites and applications

Tauqeer Ahmad
5 min readSep 23, 2021


Here we’re learning something about security, authentication and management.

As we all know that how the tough the competition is going on regarding the security of anything from physical to internet world.

So what is authentication?
Let me explain, Authentication is the process of identifying users that request access to a system, network, or device. Access control often determines user identity according to credentials like username and password.

More easy?
See, in other words we can say that it is a process of determining or cross checking the credentials of someone or something who declares itself to be.

Example -> Just suppose I’m Kamlesh and wants to access my account on any server so I’ve to prove whether I’m this person or not using the ID and password allocated to me.

Nowadays, Password authentication is getting low so we’ve developed numerous ways of authentication which are quite more secure and effective that the dilapidated one.

Authentication in Cybersecurity and why is it so important?

Authentication is super important as it enables organizations to keep their resources and user information secure by permitting only authenticated users to access its protected resources, which may include computer systems, networks, databases, websites and other network-based applications or services which the user has registered it for.


So from this, you must have got an idea on why it is so crucial so that no unauthorized person can access to the relevant data.

Let us talk about a topic — Authentication Factor

An authentication factor is a special category of security credential that is used to verify the identity and authorization of a user by checking the remembrance or the completion of particular task in a given interval of time.

List shows some commonly used authentication factor :-

  • Knowledge factor: “Something that user know.” The knowledge factor may be any authentication credentials that consist of information that the user remembers, which may include PIN, a user name, a password or the answer to a secret question.
  • Possession factor: “Something that user have.” The possession factor may be any credential based on items that the user can own and carry with them, including hardware devices like a security token or a mobile phone used to accept a text message or to run an authentication app that can generate a one-time password or PIN.
  • Inherence factor: “Something that user themselves are.” The inherence factor is typically based on some form of biometric identification, including finger or thumb prints, facial recognition, retina scan or any other form of biometric data.
  • Location factor: “Where the user is.” While it may be less specific, the location factor is sometimes used as an adjunct to the other factors. Location can be determined to reasonable accuracy by devices equipped with GPS, or with less accuracy by checking network routes. It is used when to locate for a particular user who usually logs in from home or office and suddenly there seen an interruption so as of locating the target.
  • Time factor: “When user is authenticating.” In this factor, we see that user has logged in and posted stuff or had an online activity from a particular place X and there we see that the same user was identified posting or having online activity in the different region of world within an hour or some collection of time which can’t be achieved even by a fast travelling service. So the user is detained at that moment taking correct measures.
    This is sometime ineffective just because invader can easily pitch into the account after the desired time which can be taken for travelling.

As we moved ahead a lot, so we should talk about types of authentication method which we all user are deployed upon to secure our database.

Various methods of Authentication Factor :-

Authentication Factor Methods
  • Two-factor authentication — Two-factor authentication adds an extra layer of protection to the process of authentication. 2FA requires user provide a second factor/order/proof of authentication in addition with password already set by user. After applying the password, 2FA systems often require the user to enter a verification code received via text message on their mobile phone registered by them, or a code generated by an authentication application like Microsoft Authenticator.
  • Multifactor authentication — Multifactor authentication requires users to authenticate with more than one authentication factor, including a biometric factor like fingerprint or facial recognition, security key fob or a token generated by an authenticator app compulsorily.
  • Three-factor authentication — Three-factor authentication (3FA) is a type of MFA that uses three levels of authentication factors, combining with knowledge factor (password) added with a possession factor (security token) and inherence factor (biometric).
  • One-time password — A one-time password is an automatically generated numeric or alphanumeric string of characters randomly from the server side that authenticates an user. This password is only valid for one login session or transaction, and is usually used for new users, or for users who lost their passwords and are given a one-time password to log in and change to a new password.
  • API authentication — The method of managing API authentication are: HTTP basic authentication; API keys and OAuth. In HTTP basic authentication, the server(remote) requests authentication information, usually username and password from the client. The client then passes the authentication information to the server in an authorization header. In the API key authentication method, a first-time user is assigned a unique generated value that indicates that the user is known. Then each time the user tries to enter the system again, his unique key is used to verify that he is the same user who entered the system previously.
  • Open Authorization (OAuth) is an open standard for token-based authentication and authorization on the internet. OAuth allows a user’s account information to be used by third-party services, such as Facebook, without exposing the user’s password. OAuth acts as an intermediary on behalf of the user, providing the service with an access token that authorizes specific account information to be shared.

Conclusion : -
As we have been seen that how authentication process is getting stronger day by day, which not only enhancing the experience of user but also making them to avoid learning such a long and perplexed password for different authentication. Adding with this, authentication is also helping server and organization to safe guard the user data by not letting the hackers to breach them.

Happy learning and stay healthy !!!



Tauqeer Ahmad

Hola everyone ! Currently a tech evangelist and learning lad making superb content on whatever I’ve learnt.