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July 07, 2014

Improving the User Experience with Cloud-based Authentication

Most of us have a love/hate relationship with authentication. We want our information protected, but we don’t want to jump through hoops to gain access to it. None of us really want to remember 20 different passwords, change them every six words or remember to use a PIN once we’re allowed to get past step one.

Still, the aggravation caused by high levels of authentication will turn to anger if an account is hacked. The person who relies on one password for everything will complain the loudest when accounts are compromised. For the company on the other side of the process, how do you streamline without creating vulnerabilities?

This was a common question for Apple (News - Alert). The company has been criticized in the past for vulnerabilities with the iCloud. Added security is available on other platforms, but many didn’t like the extra steps required to ensure information was safe. Not to be outdone by other cloud-based apps with fortified protection, Apple rolled out a new iteration for its two-factor Apple ID authentication system.

Users using the additional layer of security will need to enter a special code before accessing their Web apps. This two-step authentication security feature was once only available in Apple ID management and iCloud-connected features. Prior to this latest move, users simply access iCloud through a single password.

This security feature now available on the iCloud is Apple’s standard two-factor authentication service. Users wanting to login are asked to enter a password and a four-digit verification code. The latter is generated by the system and sent to the user via a trusted device. Once the user has been verified through this two-step process, all apps in the iCloud are unlocked and normal access is enabled.

While this approach is great to ensure the right person is the only one granted access to apps and information, two-step authentication becomes a burden when it’s required on too many platforms. Any type of authentication is a hindrance when requirements are extensive or usage is blocked unnecessarily. Is it possible to improve outcomes and the user experience without creating vulnerabilities?

Vasco believes there are ways to streamline authentication so you can enjoy the best of both worlds. High level security does not have to impede the user experience. To explain more, Vasco was on hand at the Cloud Expo to demonstrate its latest innovations and what it’s doing in the authentication in the cloud space. Get the inside scoop with this video from the showroom floor.

Edited by Alisen Downey

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