Man using smartphone with login virtual interfaces

Cybersecurity Authentication From a Customer Perspective

Customer Login, gateways and portals

There are various authentication methods that can be utilized when customers log in to company websites. Customers input a username and password as part of the conventional password-based authentication procedure. The security issues associated with this system, as well as the added difficulty for users in remembering several passwords, are causing it to lose popularity.

Nowadays, a lot of businesses are using passwordless authentication techniques. These can include SMS codes, which send a one-time code to the customer’s phone, email magic links, which send a one-time link to the customer’s email address, and social login, which allows users to log in using their Facebook or Google credentials.

Customer Identity and access management

Customer Identity and Access Management (CIAM), a branch of Identity and Access Management (IAM), specializes in controlling customers’ identities and access to corporate resources. In addition to controlling the client’s access rights and privacy settings, CIAM systems are made to collect, store, manage, and secure consumer identity and profile data.

CIAM systems need to strike a balance between security and user-friendliness. In addition to offering strong security to guard against fraud and data breaches, they must also offer a seamless client experience. Customers may decide not to use a service or abandon their shopping carts if the login process is excessively difficult or time-consuming.

Authentication that works

Multi-factor authentication, or MFA, is a common term used to describe advanced authentication. Users are required to supply two or more kinds of identity when using MFA, often something they are, something they have, or something they know, such as a password or a smartphone.

By dynamically modifying the authentication criteria in accordance with the risk of a specific access request, adaptive authentication goes one step farther than traditional authentication. One factor of authentication may be sufficient, for instance, if the user is checking in from a recognized location and device. However, users might be required to provide extra forms of verification if they’re signing in from a new device or an odd location.

Adaptive authentication makes use of machine learning and AI to evaluate risk indicators and make prompt judgments regarding the need for authentication. This enables companies to offer a better user experience for requests for low-risk access while maintaining excellent security for requests for access in high-risk circumstances. For companies looking to balance security and usability in their CIAM systems, it is a potent tool.


While CIAM is a Customer Identity and Access Management branch solution, there are other protocols of IAM that play a major role in securing identities.

Both SAML and OIDC are used more popularly for enterprise solutions, while other IAM solutions (such as CIAM) are used for customers.

Both OpenID Connect (OIDC) and Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML) are protocols used for managing identity and access in online applications, although they differ significantly in terms of their layout, functionality, and intended uses.

An identity provider (IdP) and a service provider (SP) can exchange authentication and authorization data using the XML-based SAML (Security Assertion Markup Language) standard. Enterprise and business-to-business (B2B) applications frequently use this standard. One important SAML feature is its ability to support single sign-on (SSO), which enables users to log in just once and access several applications.

The user’s identity, authentication state, and maybe authorization choices are all carried by SAML. The service provider generates a SAML request and leads the user to the identity provider when a user tries to access a service. The IdP then provides a SAML assertion in response. The service provider gives the user access if the assertion is true.

On top of the OAuth 2.0 protocol, OIDC (OpenID Connect) is a straightforward identity layer that enables computing clients to confirm the identity of an end-user based on the authentication carried out by an authorization server. OIDC is frequently utilized in mobile and business-to-consumer (B2C) applications.

In contrast to SAML’s XML format, OIDC uses JSON Web Tokens (JWTs), which are less verbose and simpler to implement in contemporary web applications. A common set of scopes and claims for IDs, including profile information, email, address, and phone, are also provided by OIDC. This makes OIDC a solution that is featured in consumer-facing environments (B2C) which is a point of differentiation between OIDC vs SAML (used more for enterprises).


Staff Correspondent at CPO Magazine