What is Proximity Authentication?
Proximity authentication explained.
Proximity authentication is the process of authenticating users of a system via their presence (proximity) using either a proximity token or smartphone. If the user is in a close enough proximity to the computer, then a prepared set of credentials are automatically verified and the user is authenticated. This is the fastest method of logging in to a workstation because the long and mistake-prone process of manually authenticating ends with much human error and time wasted. Manual authentication requires typing passwords, rummaging for a security access card, and forgetting/mistyping codes. Proximity authentication makes the use of multi factor authentication solution significantly easier for both end users and IT admins alike.
Just walk up to your computer, and the proximity authentication engine recognizes your token’s presence, then logs you in before you sit down. Other features include web and desktop application password availability based on presence detection. Without proximity detection, these passwords are not accessible – creating a secure workflow system for the user. Proximity authentication also determines when the user is leaving the workstation and automatically locks the terminal behind the user. This automatic proximity lock is more effective than timeout policies which can be either too long or too short. Short timeout policies produce user frustration by locking the computer on users while they’re still working. Long timeout policies are ineffective because they leave huge gaps of vulnerability.
Proximity authentication security
Proximity authentication is faster and more secure for end users. Why is it that cars unlock and lock with proximity but not other things like our computers and websites? But proximity authentication can also be more secure. Traditional two factor authentication only authenticates the user once per session. A session could last several days. This is like only checking that you belong somewhere only when you enter, and just assuming anyone inside just belongs – this is a mistake.
GateKeeper Proximity authentication utilizes a concept known as Continuous Authentication. Continuous authentication is made possible by using proximity. Instead of just asking users to push authentication once every few days to verify their credibility, continuous authentication using proximity challenges the user’s token multiple times per second! This makes proximity-based continuous authentication better for balancing security and convenience.