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Friday, November 8, 2013

Risk-Based Authentication

I like this idea of giving each individual login attempt a risk score, based on the characteristics of the attempt:
The risk score estimates the risk associated with a log-in attempt based on a user's typical log-in and usage profile, taking into account their device and geographic location, the system they're trying to access, the time of day they typically log in, their device's IP address, and even their typing speed. An employee logging into a CRM system using the same laptop, at roughly the same time of day, from the same location and IP address will have a low risk score. By contrast, an attempt to access a finance system from a tablet at night in Bali could potentially yield an elevated risk score. Risk thresholds for individual systems are established based on the sensitivity of the information they store and the impact if the system were breached. Systems housing confidential financial data, for example, will have a low risk threshold.
If the risk score for a user's access attempt exceeds the system's risk threshold, authentication controls are automatically elevated, and the user may be required to provide a higher level of authentication, such as a PIN or token. If the risk score is too high, it may be rejected outright.

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