Towards a Password Less Future: Better Security Alternatives to Password

Towards a Password Less Future: Better Security Alternatives to Password

The world will slowly start witnessing an end of passwords in the near future.

Even though most access to business processes relies on passwords to authenticate the user, it is not the most effective way to secure sensitive information or accounts. Passwords have become an integral part of society and workspaces, but lately, they have also become vulnerable for various reasons.

Companies and users are now actively looking for more secure alternatives to passwords. As world password day approaches, let’s explore more access security alternatives:

Better Password Alternatives

Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)

MFA will not be the best password substitute, but it is a good replacement for traditional passwords to a Personal Identification Number (PIN) or One Time Password (OTP). Businesses that leverage multi-factor authentication will demand users to provide more than one factor or element to validate their identity.

Two-factor Authentication (2FA)

Enterprises that leverage Two-factor authentication will add an extra layer of security, demanding users to provide two authentication factors to validate their identity. Adding 2FA with a PIN or other authentication processes while logging into a system will strengthen the security.

Biometric Authentication

One of the better alternatives to passwords is biometric authentication. Security teams can consider this an alternative to passwords while securing critical assets and sensitive information. Users have to provide biological data as proof to authenticate their identity. Cyber attackers can compromise biometrics for malicious purposes even when biometrics are a more secure option.

Organizations can use Touch ID, Facial Recognition, Fingerprint login, DNA Matching, Retina, pulse, and others to validate users based on their needs.

  • Fingerprint Scan

A fingerprint scan utilizes the user’s unique fingerprint as an identifying credential to validate the user. It is an effective way to allow secure access to authorized users by scanning their fingerprints. This biometric authentication process is an effective solution in the BFSI industry to strengthen its security posture.

  • Facial Recognition

This authentication approach requires the users to confirm their identity by verifying their facial features. Businesses with sensitive information and critical infrastructure can embrace this security strategy to restrict access to unauthorized users.

  • Retinal Scan

The retinal scan uses an advanced AI tool to validate the user’s retina. It is one of the most secure alternatives to passwords that security teams can consider to strengthen critical infrastructure security.

Password Managers

Implementing password managers will not let the user enter the password manually. Most decision-makers do not see the need for password managers in their workflows. Resources utilize multiple applications and tools which require users to log in to access the system.

Enterprises can use password managers to secure all the credentials, create random passwords, save the login details and apply the correct password during login. If organizations consider password managers as an alternative to passwords, they must keep the master key secure. Organizations would lose out on sensitive passwords if they lose the master key.

 A Personal USB Stick

Entrepreneurs and business leaders with privileged user accounts can convert a USB disk into a password to restrict access to unauthorized users. It is a good alternative to passwords because the USB stick will enable the users to log into critical IT infrastructure without typing the credentials.

Moreover, this personal USB stick will also lock the systems once the user ejects it. Decision-makers can explore many options while leveraging USB sticks instead of passwords. However, one crucial aspect is that if the user loses out on the USB will lose access to the system.

Secure Shell or Secure Socket Shell (SSH) Key

Enterprises cannot use this security approach as a substitute for local login. This alternative for passwords is not a feasible option because it is less common for personal laptops, phones, and tablets. Leveraging SSH keys for authentication can be challenging, but it will help improve security while logging into a cloud or remote server. Business leaders who want to use SSH keys for logging instead of passwords can generate public and private keys.

Security teams can store the private key on the systems and migrate the public keys to a remote system the user wants to log into. The relevant private key will only be able to decrypt the encrypted message.

The server sends the encrypted message to the user’s computer. Once the system receives the message, it will decrypt it using the private key and send it back to the server. If the keys match, the user will be able to authenticate themselves.

Also Read: Strengthen Cybersecurity with Six-Layered Defense Approach to Security

Passkey Authentication

Another effective alternative to a password is a passkey to ensure secure authentication. This authentication approach leverages digital certificates created on public key infrastructure (PKI) to verify application users. This authentication process utilizes a secure wallet to save the user’s private key. Public and private key match verification is essential for users to access their accounts.

A password-less future

Users spend a tremendous amount of time and effort updating and remembering their passwords each year. Moreover, getting locked out of the system can hamper the user’s productivity, and passwords are not the most secure ways to restrict access to unauthorized users. Security industry veterans are exploring ways to concentrate on creating authentication processes without the need for passwords.

There are better alternatives than passwords that SecOps teams can implement to strengthen their security. Business decision-makers can consider the strategies mentioned above to take one step further to accomplish a password less future.

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