Gartner Research

Decision Point for User Authentication

Published: 28 March 2017

ID: G00323734

Analyst(s): Paul Rabinovich


User authentication methods must be risk-appropriate for the resources users access. This Decision Point helps technical professionals focused on identity and security determine the most suitable form of authentication for employees and contractors, based on risk and other factors like cost and UX.

Table Of Contents

Decision Point Question

Decision Overview

Decision Tool

  • Decision Flow Diagrams for Mobile Devices and Workspaces
  • Authentication Choices
    • Certificate
    • Hardware OTP
    • OOB (Push)
    • OOB (Push) With Additional Authentication
    • OOB (SMS)
    • OOB (Voice)
    • OTP App
    • OTP App With a Third Factor
    • Password
    • Smart Card

Requirements and Constraints

  • Requirements
    • Identity Proofing
    • Client Platform
    • Authentication Use Cases
    • Adaptive Access
  • Constraints
    • User Constituencies
    • Relationship Between Identity Assurance and Cost
    • User Experience
    • Vulnerabilities in Authentication Methods


  • Technical Integration
    • AD Workstation Integration
    • Identity Assurance
    • PACS Integration
    • Frequency of Authentication
    • Network Quality
    • Smartphone Availability
    • Delivery Model for the Authentication Services
  • Types of Authenticators
    • Certificate
    • Hardware OTP
    • OOB (Push)
    • OOB (SMS)
    • OOB (Voice)
    • OTP App
    • Password
    • Smart Card
    • Virtual Smart Card
    • Other Authentication Methods

Future Developments

  • Phones as Contactless Smart Cards
  • FIDO
  • Windows Hello for Business
  • Hardware Roots of Trust

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