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The Power of Third-Party ID Authentication: Why It Matters More Than Ever

The Power of Third-Party ID Authentication

By Rebecca SmithPublished about a month ago 4 min read

Unless you’ve just beamed down from a distant planet, there’s a decent chance that you have an online account. Perhaps it’s a blog, e-commerce platform, or simply a social media profile.

One notable benefit of online accounts is their incredible accessibility. In most cases, a username and password are all you need to check into your profile.

However, password-based logins only offer basic protection for online accounts. They may not be reliable in the event of fierce cyberattacks. That underscores the significance of investing in third-party identity (ID) authentication.

But third-party authentication services aren’t without their pitfalls. Indeed, the Facebook data breach of 2021 is still fresh in our memories. This attack led to the theft of information of over 500 million Facebook users, a majority of whom lost access to their other online accounts authenticated with their Facebook logins.

Therefore, due diligence is paramount while shopping for the right third-party authentication service.

This article shall serve as a comprehensive guide to third-party authentication, with a special focus on the benefits.

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What Is Third-Party Authentication?

Third-party authentication is a system of securing online accounts in which an independent service provides authentication and validation features for other web applications. The concept mostly relates to user logins.

Most third-party identity authentication services are social networking platforms. However, they could also be email accounts and downloadable applications.

A third-party ID authentication service provides an extra layer of security, preventing unauthorized access to your online accounts. You could utilize these platforms to log into a website or reset your password. Other noteworthy use cases include user registration and email verification.

How Do Third-Party Authentication Services Work?

True to the name, third-party authenticators are typically independent organizations. These providers may render their services externally or through an on-premise model.

Third-party authentication services are designed to address various aspects of online security. They validate log-in attempts, generate tokens, and handle data encryption.

To function efficiently, a third-party ID service requires an authorization protocol. Commonly used protocols include OAuth and OpenID Connect (OIDC).

Here’s an overview of how third-party ID authenticator works;

Find a reliable third-party authentication platform and set up a profile with them.

Integrate the website with your other online accounts.

Whenever you attempt to log into any of the linked profiles, you’ll have an option to choose whether to proceed with your third-party provider.

Picking this option redirects you to the selected provider.

Log into your third-party platform and consent to share your ID with the relying party.

NB: The relying party (RP) is an online website that requires proof from a third-party service provider that you control unique identifiers. It’s essentially the actual platform that relies on a third-party authenticator for access.

Once you consent to share your ID with an RP, the third-party authentication platform will redirect you back to your RP and generate a token that the RP uses to validate your unique identifier.

Finally, the RP will use your unique identifier to grant you access to the destination website.

What Are The Benefits Of Third-Party Authentication Services?

1. Enhanced Data Security

Third-party identity authentication providers play a monumental role in enhancing online data security. These services generate tokens which validate that the credentials attempting an RP access are legitimate and authorized.

Third-party ID authentication platforms also improve security through encryption. Signals relayed between these websites and the corresponding RPs are scrambled to prevent sensitive information from slipping into malicious hands.

2. Improved Website/App Functionality

Since third-party authentication services handle the most sensitive aspects of online security, developers can focus on improving the performance of their applications.

Developers no longer need to worry about the safety of their apps. They don’t have to invest time and effort writing and maintaining complex authentication codes either.

All they need is to integrate those applications into the authenticator platform using open standard protocols like OAuth. This allows them to create apps that deliver across multiple parameters, including security and responsiveness.

3. Seamless Integration

Integration is another noteworthy benefit of third-party authentication platforms. The services are compatible with multiple RPs. You can use them to log into email accounts like Gmail, social networking platforms like Facebook, or even e-commerce websites like Amazon.

Third-party authenticators are also compatible with different devices and operating systems. You can avail these services to access an RP using your desktop or mobile device.

Thanks to their flexibility, third-party authenticators are particularly effective for large corporations with multiple locations. Authorized employees can quickly access different company RPs regardless of the devices they’re using.

4. Reduced Burden on Memorizing Logins

When you integrate your systems with a third-party authentication service, your login information is no longer stored in your RP. Instead, the authenticator secures such credentials and takes care of all account recovery methods. This means you don’t have to remember every login detail for your various online accounts.

Some third-party authentication apps even provide passwordless logins, further reducing the burden associated with memorizing login credentials.

The Bottom Line

Hopefully, you now have enough reasons to invest in third-party authentication services. Even more exciting is that there are plenty of authenticator apps to pick from.

But as previously hinted, extensive research is paramount before integrating a third-party authentication website into your system.

Prioritize secure platforms that utilize multi-factor authentication (MFA) and are able to generate one-time password codes. Shun any authenticator with a history of cyberattacks. The authenticator should also be highly responsive and compatible with multiple operating systems.

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    RSWritten by Rebecca Smith

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