In today's world, authentication for access control is more important than ever. Data has become one of the most valuable resources, making the security of digital identities a top priority. Simply logging in with a password is often not enough to protect personal information and business data anymore. Attackers continue to develop more skill and ingenuity to bypass security measures. PXL Vision has compiled the 10 best authentication methods for improved security.

1. Password-Based Authentication

Password-based authentication is one of the most basic and commonly used methods of user authentication. Users are required to enter a username and password before they can access a system or application. While simple and well established, password-based authentication is not the safest method out there. To make your passwords more secure, consider the following best practices:

  • Passwords need to be long enough (about 12 characters) and contain a combination of upper and lower case letters, numbers and special characters.

  • Choose separate passwords for each account and service to avoid one compromised password unlocking multiple accounts.

  • Changing your passwords regularly will reduce the risk of a stolen password granting permanent access.

  • A password manager can make it much easier to keep track of secure passwords.

2. Multi-Factor-Authentication (MFA)

Multi-factor authentication (MFA) is an advanced method to further secure user accounts and services. Instead of simply relying on a password, MFA requires a combination of two or more authentication methods to confirm a user's identity.

A typical example of MFA is the use of unique codes received via text message or through a mobile authentication app after entering the password. This code will change each time the user tries to log in which provides an additional layer of security.

Multi-factor authentication has the clear advantage that even if an attacker knows your password, they cannot access the account without a second or third authentication method, which may include

  • a code via text message,
  • confirmation through apps,
  • hardware tokens, 
  • or a biometric process such as fingerprint or facial recognition.

3. Biometric Authentication Methods

Biometrics have significantly advanced the field of safety engineering. With biometrics, you quit relying on something you know (like a password) or something you have (like a smartphone), but focus on a person's individual physical features.

Biometric authentication methods may use fingerprint scans, or face recognition and voice detection, for example. Fingerprint and facial recognition are considered convenient ways to unlock smartphones and access protected data. Airports and banks currently also favor biometric authentication as it is highly secure and very difficult to falsify.


4. Behavioral Authentication

Behavior-based authentication looks at movement patterns to identify a user. One such pattern could be a person's gait, because posture and body movements are unique to each individual. In practice, behavioral authentication methods are often used for building access control.

5. Electronic Signature

Electronic signatures are based on cryptographic encryption methods. A secure signature key, also known as a private key, is used to calculate a unique hash value for each signature and the respective signee. This hash value functions as an electronic signature and makes a signed document non-repudiable. That way, the signatory of the document, identifiable via the electronic signature, cannot deny that he or she authorized a document in question. 

Anyone can use the public key to verify the integrity of a signature and check whom the document belongs to. Regional legislations, like eIDAS in the EU or the E-Sign Act in the US, determine the legal basis and regulations for the process.

6. Video Authentication

For video-based authentication, users will need to appear in front of a camera and perform various actions to confirm their identity. These actions may include presenting an ID card, repeating a particular sentence or imitating a given movement.

As the method is based on visual data, it is difficult to falsify. Additionally, many consider it rather convenient because you don’t need any special hardware and can use it in any setting. However, the quality of your camera and lighting could affect the overall accuracy.

There are a number of industries that use video-based authentication, most of which are online services and part of telecommunications though. It is particularly practical when the user can’t be physically present to confirm their identity.

7. Smartcards and Physical Tokens

Smartcards are wallet-size, portable cards with a chip or magnetic strip, while physical tokens may be a USB stick or key fob. To guarantee security, users must present a smartcard or token in order to successfully verify their identity before entry.

Thus, even if an attacker knows a user password, they will still need “physical access” to be able to do any harm. In combination with a password or PIN, the use of a physical device provides an additional layer of security (two-factor authentication). Among others, this method is often used in the financial sector.

8. One-Time Passwords (OTP)

With this authentication method, a temporary one-time password is generated for each login attempt or transaction. Even if an attacker intercepts a password at one point, it will be useless for continued future access.

OTPs can be easily set up via text message and don't require any additional apps. This does make them more susceptible to security breaches such as phishing attacks, though.

App-based OTP generators offer a higher level of security; as they work offline, they aren't as easy to intercept. However, some users find it cumbersome to download a special app.

9. Certificate-Based Authentication (CBA)

Certificate-based authentication is a more advanced version of traditional password-based authentication. While users confirm their identity by entering a secret password with the password-based method, certificate-based authentication uses an additional digital certificate to verify the identity of a user or device. These certificates are issued by trusted certificate authorities (CAs) only.

10. Single Sign-On (SSO)

Single sign-on (SSO) is an authentication method that allows users to log in to a system or application once and then automatically access other systems or applications without having to log in again.

A well-known SSO example are Google services, which can all be managed at Multiple other, non-related platforms also utilize Google accounts for login.

SSO significantly improves user-friendliness, as users do not have to have separate logins for each application. It saves time and reduces the effort of remembering passwords.



From password-based authentication to biometric procedures and electronic signatures, different authentication methods offer a wide range of options to verify identities and protect access to sensitive information. Often a combination of several authentication methods is the most effective way to ensure a high level of security.

PXL Vision specializes in digital, fully automated identity verification methods. We use two-factor authentication for registration and combine that with biometric face recognition via document scan and a selfie video.

Are you interested in authentication methods and ways to implement identity verification? Contact us now for a consultation.


What is an authentication method?

An authentication method is a procedure to verify a person's or user's identity before they are granted access to specific resources or services.

Which authentication apps can I use?

There are many authentication apps available, including Google Authenticator, Authy, Microsoft Authenticator and many more. These apps are often used to generate one-time passwords (OTP) as part of a multi-factor authentication (MFA) process.

What is the difference between MFA and 2FA?

The main difference between MFA (multi-factor authentication) and 2FA (two-factor authentication) is the number of proofs of identity required. Multi-factor authentication (MFA) requires at least two different proofs of identity, whereas two-factor authentication (2FA) requires only two, one of which is usually a password. As such, MFA adds an additional layer of security to ensure access to protected systems or data.