Risk-Based Authentication

How Does Risk-Based Authentication Work?

Risk-based authentication (RBA) is an increasingly popular security technology that protects companies and individuals from identity theft and fraud. It evaluates a user’s credentials to identify potential risks before granting or denying access to a website or application. This is a method of authenticating a user that uses additional levels of verification and authentication per the level of risk of that user.

It is to verify that they are who they say they are. The verification procedure becomes increasingly detailed and restrictive with increasing levels of danger. RBA can act as a powerful defense against malicious actors, helping organizations maintain their data and systems safe from cybercriminals.

At its core, risk-based authentication is composed of two components: risk assessment and authentication methods. Risk assessment involves collecting information about the user to determine the risk associated with accessing the system. It can include location, IP address, device type, and even biometric information like face recognition or fingerprint scanning.

How does risk-based authentication work?

It is common practice for security software to require a user to log in at the beginning of a session. However, once logged in, the user may proceed as they wish. Risk-based authentication solutions aim to prevent fraudulent account access by integrating several authentication mechanisms into a seamless login process that causes the user the least inconvenience.

In risk-based authentication, a risk profile is constantly changing and non-stationary since it reflects the user’s actions. Risk scores are calculated by taking into account aspects such as where the company’s traffic originates, their typing speed, and whether they are acting unusually. Vendors can identify patterns of suspicious behavior by monitoring and analyzing activity and its significance.

It is typical for RBA implementations to include challenges and responses. In addition to the username and password, a second factor must be submitted to ensure an additional security measure. The two-factor authentication protocol requires one party to present a question and the other to submit a valid response.

Risk-based authentication factors

While authenticating, risk-based authentication takes into consideration the following factors:

Network: There should be some familiarity with the user’s IP address logging in. As such, the RBA system must be aware of the data from a foreign country to identify any suspicious activity.

Location: A verification procedure may be enabled if the user is in a time zone or location different from the server’s.

Device: An RBA system will detect a person who attempts to log in using a computer or a smartphone that has not previously been used to gain access to the system.

Sensitivity: A user’s intent is examined when accessing sensitive documents, accounts, or information.

Personal characteristics: Every aspect of the user’s relationship with the company is considered. It includes their time with the company, their role or job level, their prior breaches and certifications, and the entitlements that they have received.

After evaluating these factors, the system determines what action to take. Authentication can be performed in many ways, including using a username and password or providing additional verification as proof of identity. Based on each user’s confidence level in the system, the risk-based authentication system assigns a score to the business. For example, a merchant may decide whether or not to continue verifying a user if they have a confidence score of 95 out of 100.

Benefits of risk-based authentication

There are many benefits associated with risk-based authentication for both individuals and organizations:

Improves security – This system provides a high-performance security measure that enhances the protection of online payment platforms from cyberattacks and compromised accounts.

Commonly used – Risk-based authentication has been widely adopted and is widely used. Users and consumers are likely to understand the reason for establishing authentication. However, they will only be required to interact with it in case of a security threat.

Aids in compliance – There are regulations relating to safety and security that must be adhered to by some firms. It demonstrates your commitment to security when you implement an RBA solution.

Defending against hacking – It is well known that anyone can be the victim of a cyberattack. This breach is costly, and sensitive information, such as credit card numbers, may be disclosed. As a cost-effective method, RBA plays a crucial role.

Protecting against fraud – Through notifications and various checks, an RBA solution can reduce the amount of fraudulent activity online.

It is not a one-size-fits-all system – Risk scores are used to determine authentication levels.


Risk-based authentication is an effective way to help protect online accounts and services. It involves assessing various risk factors to determine the level of security required for a user’s account. This technology can detect suspicious activities and alert the user or administrator if anything abnormal happens.

Risk-based authentication is becoming increasingly important as cyber threats become more advanced and sophisticated. Organizations should consider implementing this technology into their security measures and online payment platform to remain safe from potentially malicious actors.

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