Today, password requirements have become stricter and more complex to combat the growing incidence of cyberattacks. Services that require passwords containing a mixture of capital and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters are more prevalent to improve password security.
Despite these stringent guidelines, a study found that even the most complex passwords under eight characters long can take only minutes to crack. In fact, according to the 2022 Microsoft Digital Defense Report, password attacks have risen by 74% from last year—approximately 921 attacks per second.
4 Reasons Passwords Should be Left in the Past
Passwords exist to keep your accounts secure. However, with cyberattacks increasing in volume and becoming more sophisticated, they may no longer be sufficient.
1. Password management is difficult
The best practice for passwords is to have a different, complex password for each account. However, remembering passwords for every single account can be challenging, especially those not accessed frequently. This problem causes many users to reuse passwords across multiple accounts.
In 2019, the Google Online Security Survey found that 52% of people reuse the same password for multiple accounts, while 13% do it for all accounts. A single data breach can lead to many profiles becoming vulnerable.
2. Passwords make for a worse user experience
People use passwords in every aspect of their lives. Their work, finances, shopping, and other leisure services often require unique passwords to get access or load a transaction. While they may be enthusiastic in using your platform, entering a password can buffer their experience and lead to frustration, making attaining your business’ services a hassle.
A worse user experience leads to a decrease in customer conversion and retention, an ineffective password-based security measure hurts customer satisfaction for minimal returns.
3. Mathematical limitations exist
Due to the constraints of character types and limits, a finite amount of potential passwords exist. With a username, hackers can use various methods to test out every combination until they eventually find your password to match.
With more sophisticated tools, cybercriminals can brute force your password in just a matter of seconds.
4. Cyber attackers are getting smarter
Technology is constantly progressing, giving cyber attackers newer and more powerful tools to access your data. Security measures that might have been effective before can become circumventable in a short amount of time.
Passwords have been around for decades, and the methods used to access or bypass them have grown more sophisticated. Switching to newer security methods can keep your business ahead in the cyber ‘arms race.’
Safer Password Alternatives You Can Consider
Passwords alone are no longer secure. As such, looking for alternatives to strengthen your security measures is essential.
1. Multi-factor authentication (MFA)
If you want to add an extra layer of defense without eliminating passwords, multi-factor authentication helps with the vulnerability of having only one check. After the password input, a user must verify two or more factors. These can either be:
- Knowledge factor: Something they know, like a password, PIN, or answers to security questions
- Possession factor: Something they have, like a smartphone or an email account
- Inherence factor: Something they are, like biometric evidence
This added layer of identity confirmation helps reduce the risk of malicious parties accessing user accounts.
2. Single sign-on authentication (SSO)
Single sign-on authentication is another method that is now rapidly replacing the traditional password process. An SSO system allows a user to use a set of credentials to access a whole suite of accounts and applications.
Having only one set of login details helps users avoid the hassle of remembering multiple passwords and streamlines the process of logging in to their accounts. SSO authentication also gives webpage administrators a more customized way of securing their systems. They can manage their own SSO process through an identity and access management (IAM) system.
3. Biometric authentication
Biometric authentication is becoming more popular due to the continued increase of mobile device use, which easily collects biometric data. Its market is expected to be worth $136.2 billion by 2031, with the banking and healthcare sectors seeing great opportunities for this artificial intelligence-enabled technology.
From the users’ perspective, a survey shows that 86% of American consumers think this form of authentication is easier to use, and 46% believe it is more secure than passwords or PINs. Fingerprints, facial scans, iris scans, and voice passwords are all standard methods businesses can use for passwordless authentication.
Biometric authentication’s downside is that it can be challenging to implement, especially for newer, less trusted brands. However, biometric data is much harder to spoof and can be easier than typing in a password.
Leave Passwords in the Past and Secure Your Business’ Future
Just like having a secure password means combining different alphanumeric and special characters, your business should incorporate various password alternatives. Leave the archaic password methods in the past, improve user and employee security, and streamline user experience to boost satisfaction rates.
If you want a partner to keep your cybersecurity measures in check, Q5id is an excellent ally for your identity and access management needs.
Contact us today and get all the benefits of improved security without handling the hassle of implementation.
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