Will “Single Authentication” ever become a realistic idea?
We at Proviatek are oftentimes promoting single sign-on and strong authentication services to global companies and entities. We support many strong authentication form factors and methods to replace, support or supplement password-based authentication services. From the very early days of the company, we have seen as our mission to solve the complexity of authentication regimes, multitude of passwords, weak single-factor authentication services, client certificates and more. It is only natural, though, to think that complexity could be replaced with simplicity for the benefit of efficiency of the overall system, its security, and usability. At the same time, we asked ourselves if singularity also brings an increased level of systemic vulnerability should a data breach occur or credentials are compromised.
Therefore, we need to ask ourselves too, and the industry as a whole, if the idea of single strong authentication “everywhere”, “every-time” is something that is, in fact, realistic. Realism here may refer to increased systemic vulnerability, but also to more high-level things like political realism – a tendency for regimes to form distinct sovereign identities and balance inter-operational frameworks among them. On this background, it could be concluded that coherent strong authentication services can be assumed to satisfy intra-regime coherence since it involves less complexity and provides better control over many distributed and hard-to-control authentication regimes.
Ideological connotations of global cyberspace
The question around coherence of the cyberspace boils down to the question of globalization as a broader process in the world. Only too rarely are those things tied together. Instead, cyberspace is oftentimes seen as a mythic distinctive supranational entity that unilaterally declares independence from the old international framework, yet escapes the traditional issue of globalization and its challenges. Authentication solutions are at the core of the establishment of sovereigns in the global cyberspace, identities thereof and distinctive regimes and mandates for their authority.
We at Proviatek with our Safewalk platform and solutions want to provide realistic authentication solutions that can interoperate and collaborate within the diverse and multipolar context of global cyberspace, without trying to claim unipolar authority or establish monolithic global concepts or mandates for authority.