What is the difference between authentication vs verification?

Verification vs authentication might look confusing and are sometimes used interchangeably. Here we settle the score.

When it comes to biometrics-based security, the key factors that play a critical role are identification, verification and authentication. From identifying a user or a customer to re-authenticating the identity of the user when logging in again - strong strong verification and authentication processess mitigate the risk of fraud and threat actors.

However, when it comes to setting up a security framework or infrastructure, it can be easy to confuse the two terms - authentication and verification. In this blog, we tackle the differences between the two and explore the question: How do we define authentication vs verification?

Identity Verification: Are you who you claim to be?

Identity verification is the process of asking a customer if he/she is indeed who they say they are - in effect, proving their identity. This is done by simply asking the user to provide an official or government-issued identity document to verify the true identity of the user.

The system will need to confirm that the data presented is associated with a specific individual. For example, matching the document number or the residential address to a user’s name. From fraudulent identities to scams, threat actors are constantly finding ways to exploit data, putting businesses and consumers at significant risk. Here’s where identity authentication makes a difference.

Identity Authentication; Are you still the same user?

Identity authentication will enable the system to determine that a user is who they claim to be by asking specific knowledge-based authentication questions that would be difficult for another individual to answer.

The best example of this is how biometrics like facial recognition technology and fingerprint scanners are used to access mobile devices like smartphones. Every time the smartphone is unlocked using a fingerprint, the system is authenticating the user’s identity against a previously scanned fingerprint. In most cases, there are three ways authenticators work:

  1. Using something the customer knows (e.g. a password or a secret security question)
  2. Using something the customer has (e.g. an ID badge or a cryptographic key)
  3. Using something that the customer is (e.g. biometric information)

The most secure solutions rely heavily on biometric authentication since the first two options are vulnerable to threats and may fall victim to fraudulent activity.

When we define authentication vs verification, the dissimilarities lie in the level of scrutiny. An efficient identity authentication interface acts as an additional security layer that screens individuals to confirm their identity, as well as their presence at the time of login.

Biometric logins, liveness detection and advanced algorithms help in administering this high level of security at login and ensure that data is not used as a convenient weapon against everyday transactions.

Currently, there’s ample room for awareness about authentication vs verification, data protection and facilitation through the right data protection software. We at Passbase are learning to combat data threats, making it harder for imposters to invade sensitive digital accounts. Our identity engine streamlines the identity verification and authentication process for enterprises and users, enabling the customer to complete the process within a couple of seconds - without compromising on security and accuracy.

If you’re interested in learning more about Passbase’s solution, schedule a demo with us or sign up today!

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Passbase is an identity verification solution that makes facial recognition, liveness detection, ID verification and KYC and AML compliance accessible through a suite of flexible developer tools. A zero-knowledge architecture ensures that companies using Passbase can securely verify users from over 190 countries without having to store their data. Built for developers, it can be integrated with just a few lines of code on iOS, Android, and Web.