Escalating Security Concerns in the Post-COVID World


“My hope is that it will light a fire under companies to prioritize security measures like never before,” says Joe Skocich, VP, Global Sales and Marketing, Identité, in an exclusive interview with IT Security Wire.

ITSW Bureau: Are companies moving from “more secure passwords” to a “no password” mindset now?

Joe Skocich: I wish that were true, but the answer is no—which is problematic. People are still focused on “secure passwords” because it’s what they know. Even though “secure passwords”—which still aren’t very secure by the way—are inexpensive and easy to create, they are a hacker’s dream. Our mission at Identite is to help companies move toward the “no password” option because it ultimately saves time and money—and most importantly, it makes a data breach much less likely.

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ITSW Bureau: Has COVID-19 been an eye-opener for enterprises exposing all their security lacks and concerns?

Joe Skocich: Absolutely. With so many working from home and more people shopping online, COVID-19 has added a new urgency for companies to solve the password problem finally. For example, large-scale breaches are growing in intensity and frequency during 2020, with the number of compromised records rising by 273% in the first quarter, compared to the same time last year. Companies could lose up to $174 million per day. This is a crisis that must be solved.

ITSW Bureau: How will the enterprise security concerns change post-COVID-19? What will be the primary focus areas?

Joe Skocich: My hope is that it will light a fire under companies to prioritize security measures like never before. One focus area will be putting a stop to network sniffing, which occurs when hackers tap into public WiFi networks. Using commonly available software, the bad guys can grab all kinds of information, including credentials, credit card numbers, and other private information. Cybercriminals are also known to create rogue access points posing as legitimate WiFi networks, enabling them to see and collect every move an unsuspecting user makes. When these kinds of breaches occur, financial and legal damage can be catastrophic.

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ITSW Bureau: How can companies and individuals need to take a new approach to the endless password conundrum once and for all?

Joe Skocich: My dream is for companies and individuals to eliminate the use of passwords by 2021. It’s bold but possible. To do so, companies must commit. Individual sites must offer a password-less system as the only way for users to register. People need to experience the simplicity, convenience, and trust that comes with an alternative system. By using the technology available to us, we can combine all three factors of authentication without the use of passwords. Believe it or not, this option wasn’t available to us five years ago.
A password-less approach offers an advantage over the competition. It also lowers costs and streamlines operations. The majority of calls to customer service, for example, involve password resets. With a password-less system, there are no passwords to hack.

Joe Skocich, Vice President, Global Sales and Marketing, Identité™
Joe Skocich, Vice President of Global Sales and Marketing at Identité™, has over 20 years of experience in Identity and Access Management, including 17 years at IBM, where he was one of the founders of the IBM Security Business Unit. He helped form Identité™ to establish a new industry standard for simple, secure online user authentication. Its flagship solution, NoPass™, forever eliminates the need for passwords—the overwhelming vulnerability for online fraud and theft.

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