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February 18, 2020

Why Big Tech Is Ready to Get Rid of Passwords

Consider, for a moment, how many passwords you’ve had in your lifetime.

According to a recent CNBC report, at any given time, it’s estimated that most office workers have between 20 and 40 different passwords and password-username combinations. Additionally, many people admit to using the same (or only slightly varied) password for a variety of accounts — something that cybersecurity experts strongly urge against.

Another thing that experts don’t recommend but that many people do: Storing passwords. Perhaps you yourself have created an Excel spreadsheet to save your passwords or written them down in a notebook you keep in your desk.

All of these practices make passwords a serious security risk, but the actual trouble actually goes even deeper than that because as it turns out, even the best passwords aren’t very safe.

Managed technology support provider in Los Angeles, Holden Watne shares how their IT company is helping clients move on from passwords.

The Password Problem

According to Edward Snowden, former

U.S. Intelligence Community officer and noted whistleblower, “For somebody who has a very common eight-character password, it can literally take less than a second for a computer to go through the possibilities and pull that password out.”

This fact falls perfectly in line with what we’ve seen in the history of data breaches worldwide: The vast majority of them have been caused by stolen passwords and other login credentials.

Naturally, this presents the most pressing problem associated with passwords. A data breach of any kind can end up costing a business thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of dollars — or more.

Still, another issue arises concerning passwords in businesses — that of the employee-password problem. It’s been estimated that each year, every one of your employees will need to contact your IT department or managed service provider between six and 10 times because of password-related issues. The current cost estimate on each one of these calls is about $50, billed to you. You can see how the ultimate cost here can add up quickly, especially when you factor in all of the workers in your employ and the accompanying productivity costs that these issues bring about.

How Can We Reduce Password Dependence?

Apple, Google (News - Alert), and Microsoft have hundreds of thousands of employees and are thusly, extremely interested in reducing our dependence on passwords. If possible, a switch to a more reliable authentication process could both reduce password-associated costs and improve security by a huge margin.

In essence, there are three ways to authenticate someone who is trying to access a portal or collection of information. You can verify a user by:

  • Their information (usually what password information they have)
  • Their possessions (what digital devices they have)
  • Their biology (who they are)

Often, two-factor authentication will be used as a more durable login method over password use alone. This would mean using two of the above three methods to verify a user. But even this method isn’t fool-proof.

What Is Biometric Authentication?

The newest form of authentication is related to who you are. Using your voice, fingerprints, or face, computer technology has now advanced to a stage where an individual’s identity can be authenticated with biological factors.

The FIDO Alliance has been a big part of switching users over to a password-free world. With their new technologies and open standards, an increasing number of companies are using the more secure, biometrically-based authentication processes that the FIDO Alliance promotes.

Stay Away From Cybercrime by Staying on Top of Cybersecurity

Does the bad guy have your password?

The truth is, you don’t know. And you probably won’t know until it’s too late.

The best way to stay safe from cybercrime is to enlist professional help from a qualified managed service provider. Managed IT services offer the best of IT assistance coupled with excellent security measures to keep your business safe from data breaches.

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