In this chapter we discussed many of the possible authentication strategies for web applications, as well as the strengths and drawbacks. To reiterate the most salient points:

  • Passwords should NEVER be stored as plain text!
  • Authentication processes should follow current industry best-practices. This is not the place to experiment!
  • Industry best practices are constantly changing, as ever-improving computer technology renders older techniques ineffective

Following these guidelines can help keep your users safe and secure. Or you can use a singe-sign-on solution to allow another service to take on the responsibility for authentication. But if you do, you must follow the standard exactly, and protect any secrets or private keys involved. Failing to do so will expose your users’ data.