Mortgage security

Death of a Password

If your password has the word monkey in it, it is very likely to get hacked.

According to Lorrie Cramer’s Ted Talk entitled “What’s Wrong with Your Pa$$word” in March 2014, the word “monkey” is ranked fourteenth as the most popular password. Most people have this type of password, one that is easy to remember, type, and has some sort of sentimental value. Many people, apparently, love monkeys.

Unfortunately, these kinds of passwords are also easy for hackers to guess.

Cyber thieves have software that can run through common passwords and check for matches. Many people don’t change their passwords for different logins either, so, for instance if a hacker finds a match for a person’s email account it is much more likely that they could then hack into the person’s bank account or company account. The hacked person can have their identity stolen and/or their bank account emptied. If the person’s computer or phone gets stolen and their passwords are saved on the device, that is another method that could put them in jeopardy.

Many have turned to making the password require symbols, more characters, or some variation that is difficult for hackers to guess. There is a strength meter on many login portals now, that when creating a password tells you how strong or weak your password is. However, these meters often notify the person too quickly that their password is strong when in fact it is only average.

How this issue be solved? How is the safety of personal bank accounts and personal lives protected? How can one be certain that, if their computer or phone falls into the wrong hands that it will not give the hacker or thief vital information? How does one know that their company is secure, if their employees are in danger of being hacked and could accidentally provide a backdoor for a hacker?

The answer is not in passwords at all.

In fact, in the next ten years, passwords may be just as obsolete as floppy disks are now. This decade may even see the death of the password. The answer to this problem is in something entirely different: recognition software.

The government has been using recognition software, or biometrics, for years, but it just recently exploded onto the public market via smart tablets, phones and laptops. One of the big advertisers for this is Apple, with its finger print readers. Another type of biometric technology, facial recognition, is readily available on certain smart phones. The cameras can work with facial recognition apps. These apps function in 3D so that hackers can’t simply pass a picture in front of the screen. Voice, heart rate, even behavior can verify a person’s identity, as they are all unique to the person. Behavioral profile software can tell who we are simply by the way we hold the phone, type or text.

We will have to think up a new way to express our love for monkeys, because we won’t have to type or text the password in, either. There will be no passwords. This can be a difficult concept to grasp, but it is a very freeing one. Hackers won’t be able to guess our passcodes because we won’t have passcodes. The intelligence in our various devices has been updated to the point that they can recognize who we are as if it were another person interacting with us.

Before I was hired as the company blogger for ATS Secured, I asked what subjects I should write about. The reply was to write about why I liked working here. This took some time for me to articulate, but eventually I decided that I really liked how everyone here was a problem solver. Advances in technology are cool and fun to talk about, but ultimately it’s the ideas on how to apply this technology to solve problems. The kind of problem-solving that is being applied to passwords is one that ATS Secured applauds, as it upholds the idea that many times problems need to be looked at differently, from many angles in order to be solved.

In the current world, security is in a state of disrepair and chaos. However, imagine a world where no one has to log in; where we don’t have to find the list of different passwords with all the slight variations in order to get onto a certain account. The device we use, whether it be laptop, phone, tablet, or some combination of the three will have the capability to identify that we are truly who we say we are. And should the device fall into the wrong hands, it would lock down immediately as it recognizes that it is in someone else’s power.

Passwords are going away, because there is a better, safer way. It just so happens that this better way is also more efficient. ATS Secured believes that this process of changing the old into the new can benefit every kind of industry. One of our favorite quotes is from John Cage, an American composer, writer and artist: “I can’t understand why people are frightened of new ideas. I’m frightened of the old ones.”

Check out another password-themed blog: “Change Your Password, Change Your Life”

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply