Passwords were first introduced in 1960 in the computing world by Fernando Carbato, widely regarded as the father of the modern computer password. He introduced the concept of passwords for a Compatible Time-Sharing System (CTSS) so that users could only access their own specific files on a common mainframe with a single disk file.
Fast forward to 2020 we are still using this primary method to protect ourselves digitally. Users want easy, quick and secure authentication but passwords are no longer a secure solution, with compromised credentials being the top cause of reported data breaches, according to the 2019 Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report.
Malicious hackers have now become masters at attaining passwords and have a lot of powerful tools at their disposal that can crack through tens of millions of possible password combinations in a matter of seconds. This would be less of a problem if many service providers that hold sensitive data could protect this information, yet so often we see serious cases of security lapses exposing reams of sensitive data.
Neither customers nor businesses now see passwords as the ultimate guarantee for keeping data safe. Passwords don’t understand context and cannot provide proof that the user is who they say they are. Passwords alone can no longer be used to secure our sensitive data and stop malicious hackers to access or steal or sensitive data.
As the business landscape shifts with focus on digital transformation and we move further into a mobile-first world, the problem of password security becomes even trickier. According to online portal Statista, by 2021 almost three billion people globally will be using smartphones for day-to-day digital interactions.
Using a 60 year old technology of passwords to safeguard our data is no longer an option. It is time for a paradigm shift in the way we access our secure data. It is time we adopt a password-free model for decentralized authentication that will keep our data safe from the malicious hackers.