Say Goodbye to Passwords

Say Goodbye to Passwords

Dennis Snider

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Business IT departments frequently find that supporting and maintaining passwords is one of their most costly and time-consuming endeavors. It is standard practice now to ask workers to use more complex passwords and change them more frequently, but this generally simply leads to more work as workers become more likely to forget their passwords and need assistance in accessing their systems. Increasingly, passwords are not adequate to protect against hackers, with 81% of hacking estimated to be related to weak/stolen passwords. Given this, it is surely time that businesses started to consider new ways of protecting their systems, be they biometric, smartcard-based, personal identification numbers, smartphone apps, face recognition, et cetera.

The first thing to do is to run a rigorous audit of your systems and see where bad passwords are being used, and what the benefits of removing the necessity for them could be for your company. You then need to consider what the best technology would be for your company to replace passwords. Microsoft offers a number of options in this respect.
Hello for Business implements robust multi-factor authentication for Windows 10 systems, allowing fingerprint, iris, face or PIN sign-ons. The Authenticator App facilitates multi-factor authentication, for example by sending one-time passcodes to backup passwords; if desired, this application could be used to completely replace passwords, for example by combining fingerprint recognition with a push notification. Finally, Microsoft is working with FIDO2 security protocols on the Edge browser and online accounts for the resolution of password problems in scenarios where there are multiple users.

Moving to more secure authentication will certainly present notable challenges for IT departments in terms of setting up new password systems, creating accounts, configuring new devices, et cetera. However, once the systems are in place, they will function much more smoothly and be far more secure. The ultimate aim of a modern company should be to create an environment in which the concept of having to type, change, or even remember a password becomes a thing of the past.

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