If Passwords Aren't The Solution Anymore, What Is?

There’s rarely a day goes by when we don’t use passwords, whether you’re logging into emails, social media or internet banking, it’s almost muscle memory when you’re typing the characters into your keyboard. However, online security is getting ever more sophisticated and passwords just aren’t cutting it.

From Ransomware like WannaCry to simple password cracking algorithms like Aircrack-ng, business and people’s personal lives could be at the centre of a worldwide epidemic. If passwords aren’t the solution anymore, what is?

1. Two Step Verification 

Already used by the likes of Google and Microsoft, two-step verification provides users with an extra layer of security rather than replacing passwords altogether. Consider it a double check, you enter your password and the service will send a push notification to a mobile device confirming your login.

Two step verification has been used for online banking for years, but it’s only been hitting regular accounts like email and social media more recently.

2. Fingerprints

In 2013, the iPhone 5s was released, the first mobile phone with a fingerprint scanner for secure login. Since then, almost every brand has released a device with a finger print scanner ranging from mobile phones to laptops.

There are two main types of fingerprint scanner. Optical readers obtain a digital depiction of our fingerprints using light sensitive diodes. Capacitive, the more secure of the two, uses an electric current to identify and analyse the biology of our fingers. They both store the information which must be replicated to access the device.

3. Facial Recognition

At one point in time, this technology was only ever seen in spy movies. Now, phones with this capability use front facing cameras to recognise the user’s eye using infrared light and match it based on a stored image that the user activates when they first set up their device.

Although not yet implemented in everyday life, it can be expected that iris and fingerprint recognition will be used to access simple accounts such as your emails and social media.

4. Heart Rate

Yes, heart rate. A heart rate security system is based on an individual’s heart beat and uses the recorded data as an authentication system.

Everyone’s heart beat is completely different. Collecting the data in the form of electrical signals, like in an electrocardiogram allows completely unique authentication that is near impossible to replicate.

5. Single and Temporary Passwords

Single and temporary passwords are random number generated codes that give access to accounts for short periods of time. This method has mainly been deployed in password recovery systems. The user specifies a mobile number and when they request to change their password, an SMS message will be sent with a login to change it.  We are now seeing other forms of this system and will continue to do so.


Visit our Security page for more advice on cyber security.

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