We are calling it right now; 2015 is going to be the year of the password. For our April WebTracks webinar, “3 Factors of Fail,” host Barry Caplin gave us the lowdown on all things passwords and authentication. He explained what is working, what isn’t and what strategies we should all be thinking about.
All of this talk about passwords got us thinking – what really is happening during the year of the password?
Alternatives to the password
We have discussed password alternatives before, but it was more theory than reality. Here are a few examples of password alternatives that big brands are implementing and testing now:
Windows 10: Your face
Windows 10 is making selfies legit. The program is called Windows Hello and it will allow users to log in using a picture of their face; to do this, Microsoft is incorporating existing Intel technology, the RealSense camera, for the iris and face-based sign-in features.
Yahoo: On demand passwords
An on demand password is like two-step authentication with only one step. Like with two-step authentication, Yahoo sends users a unique, time-sensitive code via an app or text message; unlike two-step authentication, there is no primary or permanent password. So instead of using your primary password first and then being sent a code, you visit the sign- in page and simply see a “send my password” button. This method is available now for those interested.
The Halifax bank: Your heartbeat
This tech is still in trial mode, but involves users getting an ECG to enter their accounts. The system has users wear a Nymi Band to check their heartbeat and then the band connects, via Bluetooth, to the bank account sign-in site. Biometrics has long been considered the next step in passwords, but retinal and fingerprint scans have not stood up to the security tests. In contrast, heartbeats are hard to fake, so this tech is showing promise.
Passwords are such a controversial subject right now. Some people don’t even like using the word password when coming up with alternative ideas because they think it limits creativity. What do you think? Share with us in the comments section below, on Facebook or Twitter how you are feeling about the year of the password.