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What is Silent Network Authentication?

Zoe Barber

3 min read
Woman gesturing silence alongside text about silent network authentication.

What Is Silent Authentication?

Silent authentication is the general method of verifying the identity of a device or user without requiring explicit user interaction, such as entering a username and password. It is typically used in situations where continuous or seamless authentication is desired to maintain security while minimising disruption to the user’s experience.

What Is Silent Network Authentication?

Silent Network Authentication, or SNA is when a user initiates a session or connection to a network or service, mobile network data can be used to verify that the session is legitimate and associated with the authorised user. The data can be cross-referenced with the user’s known KYC data and device characteristics attached to the number to tie the user to the device.

What Are Other Forms of Silent Authentication?

Behavioural Authentication

This approach involves monitoring a user’s behaviour, such as typing patterns, mouse movements, or touchscreen gestures, to determine if they are the authorised user. If the behaviour deviates significantly from the norm, it may trigger additional authentication steps.

Device Authentication

Silent authentication can rely on the unique characteristics of the device itself. This could include hardware-based identifiers like the device’s MAC address or secure elements like Trusted Platform Modules (TPM) to establish trust.

Biometric Authentication

Biometric data, such as fingerprint scans, facial recognition, or iris scans, can be used to authenticate a user silently. The user’s unique biological characteristics are used to verify their identity without requiring any active input.

Geolocation and Contextual Data

Factors like the physical location of the device or the context in which it is being used can also be used to silently authenticate users. For example, if a user’s smartphone is in their usual location and being used during typical hours, this information can contribute to authentication.

Risk-Based Authentication

A risk-based approach involves assessing the level of risk associated with a user’s behaviour and adjusting the authentication requirements accordingly. Low-risk activities may not trigger any additional authentication steps, while high-risk actions could prompt further verification.

Single Sign-On (SSO) and Federated Authentication

Single Sign-On (SSO) and Federated Authentication: SSO solutions can enable silent authentication by allowing users to log in once and access multiple connected services without re-entering credentials. Federated authentication extends this concept to multiple organisations and their networks.

Token-Based Authentication

Silent authentication can use tokens or certificates that are stored on a device. These tokens can be used to authenticate the user or device without requiring them to input their credentials.

Silent authentication is often used in conjunction with other security measures, such as multi-factor authentication (MFA), to provide an extra layer of protection. By reducing the friction of authentication, it can improve user experience while maintaining security. However, it’s important to carefully consider the specific implementation and security implications of any silent authentication method to ensure it meets the organisation’s security needs.

We Can Help

While authentication primarily serves as a security measure, it’s crucial to consider the impact on customer experience. You can’t overlook the importance of a smooth customer journey when determining the right approach. Consider how much friction your customers are willing to tolerate. What might the monthly cost of lost customers due to this friction be? Is there a way to enhance security without subjecting your customers to additional inconvenience?

Mobile Network Operator (MNO) data has become an indispensable component of businesses’ strategies for authentication, onboarding, and fraud prevention, owing to its high level of trust and authoritative nature. This data, obtainable with just a mobile phone number, can be cross-referenced with user-provided information, including name, age, date of birth, and address.

Moreover, organisations like TMT ID can bolster the verification of a user’s identity by confirming that the SIM card and device in use at that moment are indeed linked to the provided mobile number. The discreet device session check during silent network authentication can even render one-time passwords (OTPs) and passwords obsolete.

Authentication doesn’t need to be costly or frustrating. We’ve developed an easily integrated framework that seamlessly fits into your existing systems. Our API offers immediate access to critical data insights related to a mobile number and its associated device, facilitating instant silent network authentication. This instills confidence in the ownership of the device.

By incorporating MNO data into your authentication strategies, businesses are progressively moving toward a password-free approach, enhancing both security levels and customer satisfaction.

To find out more about bringing MNO data into your business, book a free, introductory call. We would love to help you identify and authenticate customers.

Last updated on March 28, 2024


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