Most devices, networks (PANs, VPNs, etc.), and services require some kind of authentication (a process by which a system determines whether the claimed identity of a user is genuine) before they grant an account and access privileges to a user. There are several different ways for a system to authenticate a user. Some are more reliable and secure than others, but for the most part, the more secure the method, the higher the operational expenses.
- Account: If you have access to an account on one system, this may give you automatic access to related systems or subsystems. This is typical of slaved devices, where access to the master automatically grants you access to slaves.
- Mesh ID: Some systems accept mesh IDs as authentication. This is extremely common with most public systems, which merely log the mesh ID of any user that wishes access. Other systems will only allow access to specific mesh IDs, but these are vulnerable to spoofing.
- Passcode: This is a simple string of alphanumeric characters or logographic symbols submitted in an encrypted format. Anyone with the passcode can access the account.
- Biometric Scan: This calls for a scan of one or more of the user’s biometric signatures (fingerprint, palm print, retinal scan, DNA sample, etc.). Popular before the Fall, such systems have fallen out of use as they are impractical with synthmorphs or users that frequently resleeve.
- Passkey: Passkey systems call for an encrypted code that is either hardwired into a physical device (that is either implanted or physically jacked into an ecto) or extracted from specialized software. Advanced passkeys combine hardwired encryption with physical nanotech etching to create a unique key. To access such systems, the passkey must either be acquired or somehow spoofed.
- Ego Scan: These systems authenticates the user’s ego ID.
- Quantum Key: QK systems rely on the unbreakable encryption of Quantum Cryptography.