Gartner defines "user authentication" as the real-time corroboration of a person's claimed digital identity with an implied or notional level of trust. The user authentication market encompasses a variety of products and services, implementing a range of authentication methods in addition to, or in place of, legacy passwords. Methods are typically classified by the kind of authentication factors that they use, alone or in combination; contextual/analytic techniques now supplement the canonical three factors: "what you know, hold and are." User authentication capabilities are delivered via discrete software, hardware or cloud-based services, or are embedded in other offerings such as OSs and access management (AM) tools.
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