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Are Passwords Becoming a Thing of the Past?

The word "password" with a type box with coded password

It’s pretty difficult to imagine technology without the use of passwords. From logging into our mobile device apps to checking email, and gaining access to private networks, you’ve no doubt noticed that other security features are becoming more commonplace. While there are a number of common security practices that help increase security – such as routine updates, strong backup processes, the use of VPNs, and more – having a strong password has been a staple in the digital world. Cybersecurity is something that companies of all sizes and industries should be taking very seriously, especially with the continuous rise of remote working.

The advancements in security have led cybersecurity experts today to reconsider the use of passwords altogether. Read on to learn a few reasons why passwords may be becoming a thing of the past and what new technologies are taking their place.

Passwords are difficult to work with

Think about it: how many passwords have you had to create and remember throughout your life, whether it be for personal or work-related applications? For many of us, there are simply too many to count. To add to this burden, most websites and applications today are requiring more complex passwords for their users that typically include a certain number of letters, numbers and special characters to be considered secure.

While keeping a journal of your passwords or downloading a password manager app may be the current solution to keep track of numerous login credentials, users could still make the mistake of sharing those passwords with others. In fact, according to recent studies, more than half of modern-day workers have admitted to sharing passwords with coworkers to hand off easy access to accounts. No matter what, businesses and individuals who hold responsibility for creating and managing passwords will always be at risk of security breaches.

Passwords may not provide adequate security

It could be argued that passwords ultimately prioritize convenience over security. The majority of the time, all you need to access an online account is a username and password that can be entered at anytime and anywhere. The problem with this process is that many users simply do not take the time to create strong, complex passwords. Instead, we find ourselves re-using passwords, or even worse, choosing generic passwords for sheer convenience. Believe it or not, one of the most popular passwords used in 2019 was still ‘password’.

This type of carelessness is more common than you may think and is also heavily preyed upon by cybercriminals who launch automated attacks on countless accounts using the same universal passwords.

Alternative authentication methods for the future

Passwords are not the only way to authenticate accounts. There are a number of growing technologies that are beginning to take the place of passwords. You can expect to see more of these in the future.

  • Multi-factor authentication

One of the more popular modern ways to increase security is the use of multi-factor authentication (MFA). This practice refers to using one or more ways to verify that users are indeed who they say they are. For example, along with entering a username and password, users will then be sent a code via text message to provide in order to confirm their identity.

  • Biometrics

Biometrics are known as unique physical attributes that are used to identify certain individuals. Fingerprints and facial recognition are two popular biometric security methods that can verify that a person is who they say they are.

  • Push notifications

Push notifications are links typically sent via text message or email that allow access to accounts. When a user requests entry to an account or website, they would then receive an authentication link to gain access. Typically, these links will expire after entry is gained, or after a certain period of time, to ensure that is it not used by anyone other than the original user.

What does this all mean for the future of passwords? We still recommend creating complex, unique passwords for all your devices and applications. While MFA and using secured VPNs will help increase your overall business cybersecurity, having a strong password is still the surest way to protect data from being compromised. And more importantly, change your password routinely, and don’t use the same password for everything!

Choose BrightLink for Reliable Business Network Security Services in Jacksonville

In today’s data-driven world, cyber threats continue to expand in businesses of all sizes and industries. At BrightLink Technology, our trained IT professionals will help mitigate vulnerabilities within your business network and create a business continuity plan in case of any future data breach. If you are searching for professional IT services in Jacksonville, we encourage you to contact our office today.