Are the days of passwords coming to an end?

by: Karen Gordon

Forgotten passwords are an all too common customer experience. The typical scenario is to make a few guesses, hope you don’t get locked out of your account, and eventually end up resetting your password only to forget it the next time you need it. And if that isn’t enough, try logging in to your bank account from an unknown device. This requires answering a set of authentication questions covering the gamut from your first pet’s name to your high school mascot. It’s frustrating and inconvenient, but necessary to keep accounts secure. Until biometrics that is.

Where we are now

Knowledge based identification is easy and known, but it is not foolproof. So much for those personal questions that only you can answer. Nearly every detail about most people can be found online these days, thanks to social media accounts. User names and passwords are also subject to theft and subsequent fraudulent activity. Recall the 2014 incident where a Russian crime ring stole 1.2 billion of these credentials along with 500 million emails. Many people use the same password for all of their accounts, so an email hack can quickly become a full scale financial attack. Current account security measures are fallible and cause user frustration when it comes time to recall passwords or other authentication steps. The move toward biometrics may provide both convenience and higher security.

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