sb-nz logo
Story image

Should we scrap passwords altogether?

Passwords are no longer enough when it comes to modern information security, according to new research from LaunchKey, which revealed password-based authentication is no longer capable of keeping up with the demands of today’s online environment.

According to survey data, 84% of respondents would support eliminating passwords all together. 

Additionally, more than three-fourths of those surveyed (76%) feel their data would be more secure with an alternative form of verification, with 59% preferring fingerprint scans over passwords.

Nearly half of the survey respondents (46%) said they currently have more than 10 passwords to manage, and 68% acknowledged that they reuse passwords for multiple accounts. Additionally, 77% said they often forget passwords or have to write them down. 

Among respondents' top password pet peeves are those systems that require users to change their password frequently, and systems that require users to create passwords that do not fit the model of one they regularly use.

"Today, the pace of security breaches directly related to stolen passwords and bypassed authentication is increasing along with the severity of their consequences," explains Geoff Sanders, CEO, LaunchKey. 

"Passwords are inherently insecure as a method of authentication, and their efficacy relies on end users, developers, system administrators, and the applications themselves, all of which are vulnerable to a wide variety of attack vectors currently being exploited by cyberattacks around the world." 

Adding to this point, Sanders noted that 27% of survey respondents acknowledged sharing their passwords with someone else.

While strong authentication is the correct approach to be taken, the traditional method of two-factor authentication (2FA) is insufficient, Sanders says. 

According to the LaunchKey survey, 64% of those surveyed do not know what 2FA is while only 20% say 2FA is easy to use.

Furthermore, many 2FA solutions on the market today represent a noticeable cost and logistical burden. A single hardware token can cost as much as $100 or more, making a 2FA solution that only satisfies a limited subset of use cases, impractical.

The LaunchKey survey also measured users' trust of public institutions to protect personal information. 

With the high number of recent data breaches in retail stores, such as Target and Home Depot, LaunchKey says it is no surprise that 52% of survey respondents expressed little to no confidence in retail stores being able to properly secure one's personal information, and 43% had little to no confidence in online retailers.

Conversely, 48% of respondents expressed high confidence in banks being able to protect personal information.

"The future of authentication is free from traditional passwords," Sanders says. "We must remove the vulnerability and liability that passwords have created while implementing more secure authentication methods that account for an evolving and diversified landscape of use cases, end users and threats."

Story image
Why 2021 will be the year of catch-up
The transition to remote work and new online contactless business models is not temporary and is affecting the future strategy on how organisations invest in cybersecurity, writes Radware vice president and managing director for EMEA and LATAM, Rob Hartley.More
Story image
How a vantage point sees threats before they impact
When the focus has been on adversaries that develop increasingly complex and sophisticated attacks, tried and true techniques such as compromised credentials continue to be amongst the most potent weapons.More
Story image
ThreatQuotient & Infoblox integrate threat intelligence capabilities
“Together, our integration eases the consumption of threat intelligence from various internal and external sources to ensure that intelligence is accurate, relevant and timely to an organisation’s business.”More
Story image
Financial firms exposing data through mismanaged access controls - Varonis
Almost two-thirds of the analysed firms leave more than 1000 sensitive files open for every employee to access.More
Story image
DDoS campaigns, BEC scams & Emotet: CERT NZ reports top security threats
It has been yet another tumultuous quarter for New Zealanders and their wallets, with almost $6.4 million in reported financial losses due to cybersecurity incidents.More
Story image
Video: 10 Minute IT Jams - Vectra AI exec discusses cybersecurity for Office 365
In Techday's second IT Jam with Vectra AI, we speak again with its head of security engineering Chris Fisher, who discusses the organisational impact of security breaches within Microsoft O365, why these attacks are on the rise, and what steps organisations should take to protect employees from attacks.More