10 Authentication Metrics to Track for Better Security

published on 10 June 2024

Tracking authentication metrics is crucial for maintaining the security and efficiency of your online platform or application. Here are the key metrics to monitor:

Authentication Success Rate

  • Measures how often users can log in without issues
  • A high rate indicates a secure and user-friendly system
  • A low rate suggests potential vulnerabilities or issues

Failed Login Attempts

  • Identifies potential security threats like brute-force attacks
  • Helps detect weak passwords or phishing attempts
  • Allows implementing preventive measures like account lockouts

Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) Usage

  • Tracks adoption of MFA for added security
  • Reveals areas for improvement in MFA implementation
  • Helps meet compliance and regulatory requirements

Login Latency

  • Measures the time it takes for a user to successfully log in
  • Identifies bottlenecks or slowdowns in the authentication process
  • Helps optimize for a smooth and efficient login experience

Credential Stuffing Detection

  • Tracks how often your system detects and blocks credential stuffing attacks
  • Prevents unauthorized access using stolen credentials
  • Helps implement countermeasures like IP blocking and rate limiting

Account Takeover Attempts

  • Measures how often attackers try to gain unauthorized account access
  • A low success rate indicates an effective system for preventing takeovers
  • Allows detecting and blocking malicious login attempts in real-time

Password Reset Requests

  • Monitors the success and failure rates of password reset attempts
  • Helps identify potential security threats or user errors
  • Enables implementing security measures like CAPTCHAs and rate limiting

New Account Signups

  • Tracks the growth and popularity of your platform
  • Identifies trends in user acquisition and interest
  • Helps optimize marketing strategies and predict demand

Session Duration

  • Measures the length of time a user remains logged in
  • Allows setting appropriate session durations for different user types
  • Helps prevent unauthorized access by requiring re-authentication

User Location and Device Information

  • Collects data on user locations and devices accessing your platform
  • Identifies suspicious activity or unusual login patterns
  • Helps strengthen overall security and prevent fraud or attacks

1. Authentication Success Rate

The authentication success rate shows how often users can log in to your system without issues. It's calculated by dividing the number of successful logins by the total login attempts over a specific time period.

For example, if there were 1,000 login attempts in a week and 980 were successful, the authentication success rate would be 98%.

High Success Rate

A high authentication success rate indicates your system is secure, reliable, and user-friendly. It means users can log in smoothly, without delays or problems.

Low Success Rate

A low authentication success rate suggests issues with your system, such as:

  • Malfunctioning components
  • Outdated technology
  • Potential security vulnerabilities

A low success rate can lead to:

  • Frustrated users
  • Decreased productivity
  • Increased security risks

By tracking the authentication success rate, you can:

Benefit Description
Identify risks Detect potential security vulnerabilities or suspicious activities
Optimize processes Improve authentication for better user experience and efficiency
Comply with regulations Meet industry security standards
Make informed decisions Use data to enhance authentication strategies

2. Failed Login Attempts

Tracking Failed Logins

Failed login attempts refer to the number of times users try to log in to your system with incorrect credentials. This metric is crucial for identifying potential security threats and vulnerabilities in your authentication process.

A high rate of failed logins could indicate:

  • Brute-force attacks (hackers trying many password combinations)
  • Credential stuffing (using stolen login details)
  • Phishing attempts (tricking users into revealing passwords)
  • Weak passwords (easy to guess)

By monitoring failed login attempts, you can:

Benefit Description
Detect threats Identify potential attacks and take preventive measures
Improve passwords Strengthen password requirements to reduce weak passwords
Enhance user experience Provide feedback on login attempts and suggest better password practices

Analyzing Failed Attempts

Analyzing failed login attempts can provide valuable insights into hacker methods and help you take proactive security measures. By examining patterns and trends, you can:

  • Identify common IP addresses or locations associated with multiple failed logins
  • Assess the effectiveness of existing security measures
  • Implement fail-safe measures like account lockouts and CAPTCHA verification to prevent unauthorized access

3. Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) Usage

MFA Adoption Rate

Tracking the MFA adoption rate shows how many user accounts have enabled multi-factor authentication. This metric reveals the extent of MFA implementation across your organization and helps identify areas for improvement.

Secure Authentication Methods

Monitor the usage of robust authentication factors like biometrics or hardware tokens. This data highlights the level of security in your MFA setup and adherence to best practices.

By tracking MFA usage, you can:

  • Identify potential security risks and take action
  • Improve user education on MFA benefits
  • Strengthen your organization's security posture
  • Meet compliance and regulatory requirements
Benefit Description
Identify Risks Detect vulnerabilities and take corrective measures
Improve Adoption Educate users on MFA advantages and best practices
Enhance Security Strengthen your organization's overall security
Meet Compliance Adhere to regulatory standards and requirements

4. Login Latency

Login latency is the time it takes for a user to successfully log in to your platform. This metric is crucial for providing a smooth user experience and ensuring your authentication process is efficient.

What is Login Latency?

Login latency refers to delays or lags that occur when a user attempts to log in. These delays can be caused by various factors, such as:

  • Network issues: Slow or unstable internet connections can cause delays in data transmission, leading to longer login times.
  • Server performance: If your servers are overloaded or experiencing performance issues, it can slow down the authentication process.
  • Inefficient authentication methods: Complex or resource-intensive authentication methods can increase login latency.

Why Track Login Latency?

Tracking login latency helps you:

Benefit Description
Identify bottlenecks Detect potential issues or slowdowns in your authentication process
Optimize login process Improve the speed and efficiency of user authentication
Enhance user experience Provide a smoother and faster login experience for your users

By monitoring login latency, you can:

  • Identify and address network or server performance issues
  • Optimize your authentication methods for faster processing
  • Implement caching or other techniques to reduce login times
  • Ensure a consistent and satisfactory user experience across devices and locations

Keeping login latency low is essential for maintaining user satisfaction and preventing frustration or abandonment during the authentication process.

5. Detecting Credential Stuffing Attacks

Successful Detection Rate

Tracking the successful detection rate of credential stuffing attacks is crucial for better security. This metric shows how often your system can identify and block malicious login attempts using stolen credentials. A high successful detection rate indicates your authentication system is effective at preventing unauthorized access.

Failed Detection Rate

The failed detection rate measures how many credential stuffing attacks manage to bypass your security measures and gain unauthorized access to user accounts. A high failed detection rate signals vulnerabilities that need to be addressed promptly.

Identifying Potential Attacks

Detecting credential stuffing involves monitoring login attempts and identifying patterns that suggest a potential attack. This includes analyzing:

  • Traffic origin
  • User behavior
  • Login patterns

By detecting security threats in real-time, you can respond quickly to prevent account takeovers and protect sensitive user information.

To improve credential stuffing detection, consider:

Strategy Description
Monitor login patterns Analyze traffic and user behavior for anomalies
Implement rate limiting Prevent brute-force attacks by limiting login attempts
Use IP blocking Block IP addresses associated with suspicious activity
Utilize machine learning Detect anomalies in user behavior using algorithms
Enable multi-factor authentication Add an extra layer of security beyond passwords
Educate users Encourage unique, strong passwords and warn about password reuse

6. Account Takeover Attempts

Account takeover attempts are a critical security metric to track. It measures how often attackers try to gain unauthorized access to user accounts using stolen or compromised login credentials. This metric is crucial because account takeovers can lead to financial losses, damage reputation, and erode user trust.

Success Rate

The success rate shows how effective your system is at preventing unauthorized access. A low rate suggests your system is robust and can detect and block malicious login attempts. A high rate indicates vulnerabilities that need to be addressed quickly.

Failure Rate

The failure rate measures how often your system detects and blocks malicious login attempts. A high rate means your system is effective at preventing account takeovers. A low rate may suggest your system is not detecting and blocking these attempts effectively, leaving user accounts vulnerable.

Detecting Threats

Detecting security threats in real-time is key to preventing account takeovers. Your system should identify patterns and anomalies in user behavior, traffic origin, and login patterns to detect potential attacks. Using techniques like machine learning algorithms, IP blocking, and rate limiting can improve threat detection and prevent account takeovers.

Technique Description
Machine Learning Detect anomalies in user behavior using algorithms
IP Blocking Block IP addresses associated with suspicious activity
Rate Limiting Prevent brute-force attacks by limiting login attempts

7. Password Reset Requests

Tracking password reset requests is vital for identifying potential security risks or user errors. This metric helps you detect vulnerabilities and take prompt action to prevent unauthorized access.

Success Rate

The success rate shows how often users can reset their passwords without issues. A high rate means your system is user-friendly, while a low rate may indicate problems with the reset process.

Failure Rate

The failure rate measures how often users fail to reset their passwords. A high rate could signal security threats, like attackers trying to reset passwords, or user errors, like incorrect entries.

Detecting Security Threats

Identifying potential attacks in password reset requests is crucial for preventing unauthorized access. Your system should look for patterns and unusual behavior, such as multiple failed reset attempts from the same IP address. Implementing security measures like CAPTCHAs and rate limiting can help stop brute-force attacks and protect your system.

Technique Description
CAPTCHA Verify user identity using visual challenges
Rate Limiting Prevent brute-force attacks by limiting password reset attempts

8. New Account Signups

Tracking new account signups is crucial, as it shows the growth and popularity of your platform. This metric provides insights into user acquisition trends, helping you identify areas for improvement and optimize your marketing strategies.

Weekly and Monthly Signups

Monitoring new account signups weekly and monthly helps you understand the user acquisition trend. A steady or increasing number of new signups indicates that your product positioning and acquisition strategy are effective. A decline in signups may signal that something needs to be addressed.

By tracking weekly and monthly signups, you can:

  • React quickly to changes in user interest
  • Identify the immediate effects of marketing campaigns or product updates
  • Predict potential demand for your product

This information enables you to make data-driven decisions to improve your platform's growth and security.

Benefit Description
Identify Trends Understand user acquisition patterns
Optimize Strategies Improve product positioning and marketing
React Promptly Address changes in user interest
Predict Demand Anticipate future product needs

9. Session Duration

What is Session Duration?

Session duration is the length of time a user remains logged in to your platform or application. This metric is important for maintaining security and efficiency.

Setting Session Duration

When setting session duration, consider the types of users and devices accessing your platform:

  • Mobile Users: Mobile devices are often shared, so shorter session durations may be better for security.
  • Desktop Users: Longer session durations can provide convenience for desktop users.

Re-Authentication for Sensitive Actions

To add an extra layer of security, consider requiring re-authentication for sensitive actions, such as making purchases or updating account information. This ensures that even if a user's session is compromised, the attacker cannot access sensitive features without re-authenticating.

Benefit Description
Prevent Unauthorized Access Reduce the risk of session hijacking
Improve Security Require re-authentication for sensitive actions
Enhance User Experience Balance security and convenience for users

10. User Location and Device Information

What is It?

User location and device information refers to the data collected about where a user is located and what device they are using when accessing your platform or application.

Why It's Important

Tracking this information helps:

  • Identify Suspicious Activity: Detect login attempts from unfamiliar locations or devices, which could indicate fraud or unauthorized access.
  • Prevent Attacks: Stop credential stuffing attacks by recognizing unusual device or location patterns.
  • Enhance Security: Strengthen your platform's overall security by analyzing user data.

How to Collect It

You can gather user location and device information through:

  • IP Address Tracking: Determine a user's approximate location based on their IP address.
  • Device Fingerprinting: Collect details like browser type, operating system, and screen resolution.
  • Cookie Tracking: Use session cookies or persistent cookies to identify devices.


Benefit Description
Improved Security Identify and prevent fraudulent activities
Better User Experience Provide personalized experiences based on location and device
Anomaly Detection Spot unusual login attempts or device usage patterns


Tracking authentication metrics is vital for maintaining security and efficiency. By monitoring these metrics, you can:

  • Identify potential security threats
  • Improve user experience
  • Provide more value to your business

An authenticated user is more valuable than an unauthenticated one, as they can share private data and engage with your application.

Here are the 10 key authentication metrics to track:

  1. Authentication Success Rate
  2. Failed Login Attempts
  3. Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) Usage
  4. Login Latency
  5. Credential Stuffing Detection
  6. Account Takeover Attempts
  7. Password Reset Requests
  8. New Account Signups
  9. Session Duration
  10. User Location and Device Information
Metric Purpose
Authentication Success Rate Measure how often users can log in without issues
Failed Login Attempts Identify potential security threats or vulnerabilities
MFA Usage Track adoption of multi-factor authentication for added security
Login Latency Ensure a smooth and efficient login process
Credential Stuffing Detection Prevent unauthorized access using stolen credentials
Account Takeover Attempts Stop attackers from gaining unauthorized account access
Password Reset Requests Detect security threats or user errors in password resets
New Account Signups Understand user acquisition trends and platform growth
Session Duration Balance security and convenience for different user types
User Location and Device Info Spot suspicious activity and prevent fraud or attacks


How do you measure authentication?

Authentication measurement involves tracking key metrics that show how secure and efficient your authentication system is. This includes metrics like:

  • Authentication success rate: How often users can log in without issues
  • Failed login attempts: Potential security threats or vulnerabilities
  • MFA usage: Adoption of multi-factor authentication for added security

Monitoring these metrics helps you identify security risks, improve user experience, and provide more value to your business.

For example, if a company uses password authentication, testing a sample of user passwords against known weak, common, and breached passwords can reveal if user behavior is putting the company and customers at risk.

What are IAM metrics?

IAM (Identity and Access Management) metrics measure the performance of IAM systems. These metrics track and understand how effective IAM systems are. They also help identify areas for improvement.

IAM metrics provide insights into the security, efficiency, and user experience of your authentication system. This data allows you to make informed decisions to optimize your IAM strategy.

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