Knowledge Based Authentication (KBA) What is it? Issues. Alternatives

Juliana Muñoz

Juliana Muñoz


Knowledge-Based Authentication (KBA) is a method used in the remote identity verification process. In this article, we’ll explore what exactly knowledge-based authentication is, the issues associated with it, and some alternatives that may offer more secure and effective solutions.

What is knowledge-based authentication?

Knowledge-based authentication is a procedure used to validate an individual’s identity by verifying personal information known only to him or her. This approach is based on the principle that only the real individual would have access to certain personal details, such as date of birth, social security number, or the answer to a predefined security question.

The KBA has been used for years as an authentication method in various industries, from financial services to telecommunications. However, this form of authentication has presented some problems and limitations.

Knowledge-based authentication issues

Lack of security

One of the main problems with knowledge-based authentication is its vulnerability to cyberattacks. Most of the information used at the KBA can be easily found in public databases or on social media profiles. This means that an attacker could easily collect the information needed to correctly answer security questions, thus bypassing authentication.

Bad user experience

Another problem is the poor user experience that knowledge-based authentication can cause. Remembering answers to security questions or specific personal details can be difficult for some users. Also, the predefined security questions are often limited and may not be relevant to everyone, making the authentication process even more difficult.

Alternatives to knowledge-based authentication

In response to the problems associated with knowledge-based authentication, some alternatives have emerged to improve the security and user experience of the identity verification process. Below, we’ll explore two popular alternatives.

Behavior-based authentication

Behavior-based authentication uses advanced technologies and algorithms to analyze user behavior during their interaction with an application or platform. Data related to typing, swiping, browsing speed, and other behavior patterns unique to each individual is collected and analyzed. This information is used to create a user profile that is compared to the user’s actual behavior, thus enabling more secure and less invasive authentication.

Biometric authentication

Biometric authentication uses unique characteristics of each individual that are difficult to spoof, such as fingerprints, voice, iris, or face. This biometric data is captured and compared to previous records stored to verify the identity of the user. In addition to being highly secure, biometric authentication also offers a smoother and more convenient user experience, as there is no need to remember passwords or answer security questions.


Knowledge-based authentication has been a commonly used method in the past, but it presents security and user experience issues. Fortunately, there are more advanced and effective alternatives, such as behavior-based authentication and biometric authentication, which offer greater security and a better experience for users. When considering the implementation of a remote identity verification solution, it is important to evaluate these alternatives to ensure a secure and satisfying experience for both users and the business.

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