Passwords could become a thing of the past

Are passwords a thing of the past? For 200 IT decision makers in the US, they could be. According to a survey by Wakefield Research, 69% of respondents said they will likely do away with passwords within the next five years. This is due to the security risk that this level of protection carries.

Password log-in systems are so common that we find it difficult to imagine beyond them. Despite this, security companies are currently selling solutions that enable alternatives to the traditional password. Passwords are not a safe method of securing your data, and the increasing frequency and severity of data breach incidents prove it. Yahoo in 2014, for example, suffered a hack in which login credentials from 500 million user accounts were stolen.

Passwords are normally quite predictable and are re-used often. With the number of online accounts we use, this is not surprising. It does, however, make it incredibly easy for a hacker to obtain your details, whether it’s your email or your financial information.

There are plenty of alternatives to text-based passwords. One-time, randomised passwords can be sent to users each day, making the account(s) harder to hack. Biometrics is another big area, allowing users to register their fingerprint to a device. Other companies will monitor what your normal login patterns are and notify you if something unusual occurs. Some companies will even analyse keystrokes and mouse movement for atypical behaviour.

As with all change, it comes slowly. The survey revealed that disruption to a user’s daily routine and resistance by company executives were the biggest obstacles.