For as long as anyone can remember, passwords have been used to protect accounts and systems. Over the years, however, as technology has continuously evolved, passwords have stopped becoming a secure and reliable method to protect your information from hackers and cyberattacks.
Devices protected with just passwords are easier to hack into than ever, and there can never be a guarantee that the person inputting the password is, in fact, the owner of the account. As a result, individuals and organizations are at a considerable risk of their security being breached, and thus action must be taken to upgrade security.
Taking the First Step
Since passwords have been around for an incredibly long time, they have become a go-to security tool for users. Due to this, it will take an adjustment period when moving to a new security solution.
Businesses, as a result, must work to integrate added security measures and controls in collaboration with passwords rather than just replacing passwords as a whole. This will make the transition smoother and allow businesses to authenticate users on the back-end via additional controls.
The United States government is also campaigning for improved cybersecurity after recent ransomware attacks on the Colonial Pipeline, SolarWinds, and the Exchange Server. President Joe Biden stated that all government agencies are now required to incorporate multi-factor authentication (MFA) tools based on risk and a Zero Trust security network.
Introducing Identity Verification
Due to an increased level of hacks and scams since the pandemic began, organizations have realized the importance of having solid cybersecurity systems. Most businesses now incorporate authentication methods such as one-time passcodes (OTP).
Though effective, this technique only creates another channel for hackers to steal accounts from. Users also find added authentication steps unnecessary and annoying resulting in them not using OTPs at all.
The arrival of physical biometrics like fingerprints and facial scanners in smartphones seemed very intuitive. However, this technology is not always effective and is only available to users owning the latest and most expensive devices.
The issue users have with physical biometrics is that they collect and store data which not everyone is comfortable with as they have reservations about how the data is being utilized and spread.
The Path Forward
Among all the security controls and ideas, an emerging tool is gaining traction: Behavioral biometrics. Behavioral biometrics allows organizations to collect contextual information about users like their style of holding their phone, keystroke patterns, and how they move their mouse, etc. Behavioral biometrics works on multiple devices and since it does not collect any personally identifiable information (PII), thus ensuring user privacy.
Through observing contextual data points of the user’s patterns, the data can create a digital identity for the user, which it can then authenticate against should irregular activities occur on the user’s devices. Behaviors are hard to recreate, and thus businesses can move past the need to use easily penetrable passwords.
It will take time to establish behavioral biometrics and educate users on what it is, but doing so will allow users to understand how much more effective it is in comparison to passwords, and through this, the business will be able to improve its security without too much of a change needed.
The Key: Digital Identity Must Be at the Center
The most important thing to understand here is that the best and most constructive way to protect your organization and its employees is by incorporating digital identity at the heart of all security systems. Digital security provides a complete solution, authenticates user verification, and with the era of passwords behind us, digital security is here to ensure we will be in safe hands from cyber attacks.