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Is it time to drop passwords and adopt biometrics?

The traditional password-based paradigm must be transcended.

A member of the Red Hacker Alliance in Dongguan, China in August 2020 monitors cyberattacks around the world. Hacks have increased through the pandemic and the war in Ukraine - © AFP/File Noel Celis
A member of the Red Hacker Alliance in Dongguan, China in August 2020 monitors cyberattacks around the world. Hacks have increased through the pandemic and the war in Ukraine - © AFP/File Noel Celis

World Password Day arrives on Thursday, May 5, 2022. While the use of passwords is an important security future, for many analysts looking at ways to better protect personal and corporate identities is futile.

These analysts think we have reached the time to stop looking to improve password hygiene and start looking for non-password solutions.

An example of such  an analyst is Paul Trulove, CEO of SecureAuth. Trulove’s company is “celebrating” World Password Day by going passwordless and advocating for a truly layered approach to logins—adopting biometric-based multi-factor authentication.

As to wat this may involve, Trulove outlines a strategy for consideration for Digital Journal readers. Trulove explains: “Today, organizations are under intense pressure to move away from passwords to ensure a Zero Trust security posture.”

As to what this means, Trulove explains: “An effective identity security strategy that securely protects all users, applications, data and resources has become critical to the success of any organization.”

In terms of more concrete examples, Trulove  explains: “Enterprises are looking for advanced authentication that is continuous and behavioral based, providing users a frictionless experience while enabling a stronger security posture.”

By this: “Organizations can leverage an AI and Machine Learning risk analytics to create a user’s unique digital DNA, built from hundreds of variables like human patterns, device and browser fingerprinting, and geolocation. This ensures that authentication continues beyond the point of entry and throughout the user’s digital journey.”

Summarizing this, Trulove says: “The traditional password-based paradigm must be transcended. Digital authentication must be re-conceptualized.”

There are industry trends that affirm these developments. According to the latest research report by ESG, so-termed ‘passwordless initiatives’ have become strategic, with 31 percent of organizations claiming it is their top identity-related activity. Furthermore, 34 percent state that passwordless authentication is among their top three identity-related activities.

In addition, trends suggest that 40 percent of organizations make multi-factor authentication methods optional as their users experience cyber-fatigue. To ascertain the impact, 58 percent of organizations consider risk scoring to be critically important for customer identity types.

In terms of the optimal strategies, trend data indicates that 84 percent of business units are selecting biometric and security keys as the most popular passwordless authentication solution.

Written By

Dr. Tim Sandle is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for science news. Tim specializes in science, technology, environmental, and health journalism. He is additionally a practising microbiologist; and an author. He is also interested in history, politics and current affairs.

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