recommended reading

What the future without passwords could look like

Pedro Miguel Sousa/Shutterstock.com

The end of the password is near. The brains at Google are experimenting with new authentication technologies for email, but it's not just our email that needs saving. Passwords everywhere don't work. The most optimistic thinking goes that with every new massive account info hack, companies will start adopting better technologies for protecting our user data, until one day the password is as much a relic as the floppy disk. For a look into what will come next, The Atlantic Wire spoke with security experts and analysts and the future without passwords involves a lot more passwords than we expected.

It Will Still Involve Passwords...

Despite Mat Honan's strong assertion in Wired last year that "the age of the password has come to an end," pretty much everyone we spoke with doubted that the password would disappear forever. The password will live. It just won't be the only means of security. "Most people will move away from relying on passwords as the only means of authentication," said Jeremy Grant, who heads The National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace, a government organization working to advance the password ecosystem beyond passwords.

Rather, in the future, the password will be part of the security "constellation," as Forrester analyst Eve Maler put it. For the most important gateways to our lives, like email accounts, Google's 2-step authentication, which The Atlantic's James Fallows is a vocal proponent, combines a password and an ever-changing code sent via-text. The second aspect might look an awful lot like a password—Google texts a string of characters, for example. Or it might entail something more personalized, depending on the type of information we're trying to protect. But the password will still be in the mix.

While hacks loom, any extra steps means more of a burden for the user. Yes, having to go upstairs to get your phone is more annoying than remember 25 passwords. That hassle will never be worth it for certains things. Also, because of that perceived annoyance, it might take awhile for the multi-step thing to catch on, unless companies mandate it. 

Read more at The Atlantic Wire

(Image via Pedro Miguel Sousa/Shutterstock.com)

Threatwatch Alert

Thousands of cyber attacks occur each day

See the latest threats

JOIN THE DISCUSSION

Close [ x ] More from Nextgov
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from Nextgov.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • It’s Time for the Federal Government to Embrace Wireless and Mobility

    The United States has turned a corner on the adoption of mobile phones, tablets and other smart devices, outpacing traditional desktop and laptop sales by a wide margin. This issue brief discusses the state of wireless and mobility in federal government and outlines why now is the time to embrace these technologies in government.

    Download
  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

    Download
  • A New Security Architecture for Federal Networks

    Federal government networks are under constant attack, and the number of those attacks is increasing. This issue brief discusses today's threats and a new model for the future.

    Download
  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

    Download
  • Software-Defined Networking

    So many demands are being placed on federal information technology networks, which must handle vast amounts of data, accommodate voice and video, and cope with a multitude of highly connected devices while keeping government information secure from cyber threats. This issue brief discusses the state of SDN in the federal government and the path forward.

    Download
  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.