White House Seeks to Wipe Out Passwords

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Passwords are a top way for hackers to obtain access to a network. Not only are many passwords easily guessed, but users often readily hand them out and store them irresponsibility. As a result, the White House is calling for a way to enhance security and reduce threats by eliminating the password for good. By replacing text-based passwords with other forms of authentication, the White House believes personal information security can be better implemented. Here are three of the latest technologies that could replace passwords. Fingerprint Recognition One of the most often-referenced forms of authentication is fingerprint recognition. Already being used on mobile devices, this type of authentication is a great way to prevent a breach, since a hacker can’t replicate a fingerprint. However, the technology isn’t perfect. Without a backup form of identification like a password, a user could find himself locked out of his device due to a slight disruption in his fingerprint, such as a cut or burn. Fingerprints can also be worn away over time, especially if a user’s work requires intensive use of his hands. Smart Cards Employees often use cards to access work areas, so a card to access PCs makes perfect sense. A smart card would eliminate the need to enter passwords, while also adding a layer of security that isn’t available with traditional login methods. The drawbacks to smart cards is that users are required to keep them on hand at all times while working. A PIN is usually required with these cards to protect an event if they should become lost or stolen, so the employee still is required to enter an authentication key to get in. Retinal Recognition Retinal biometrics have long been seen as problematic due to the complications of reading the human eye. The user must remove his eyeglasses and wait for detection, remaining still for 10 to 15 seconds. This makes it slightly less convenient than other types of biometrics. Advancements in the technology have made it more feasible for the enterprise. However, at the desktop level, this type of detection is likely to become mainstream in the near future. As businesses seek to find ways to prevent a security incident, these password alternatives are becoming more attractive. In the coming years, alternatives to passwords are likely to be come much more common.

Posted in IT Security.

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