People post all sorts of pieces of their lives online, from photos to personal details and thoughts. Your name, address, phone number, SSN, photo, date of birth, even your voice… they’re all available on the web if you know how to gain access to them. It seems easier now more than ever to hack into an account or system and take all the information stored there.
Weaknesses in online security have led to breaches on Twitter, T-Mobile, Facebook, Gmail, Equifax, and more, and that’s just within the last three years. All websites, big and small, are vulnerable to scams and hackers. The biggest weakness, and the easiest to exploit, is the password.
The Weakness of Passwords
Passwords are the bane of a positive user experience. It’s already difficult to remember passwords themselves, and no one wants to make a new password for every site where they create an account on. Nearly 75% of internet users use the same password across multiple sites.
Often, people use the same password, or variations thereof, for multiple accounts. For 80% of websites, your password need to contain only lowercase letters, making them the weakest and easiest to crack. For others, the requirements may include capital letters, numbers, and symbols. To complicate the matter, you might be restricted to a maximum character count or only a small pool of symbols with which to create your password. Still, it takes less than a day to decrypt large volumes of password hashes; and all that hard work in creating long, intricate passwords falls flat within moments.
Password managers can store all of those complicated passwords for you and, better yet, fill in that information where you need it whenever you need to log in. While this removes the pressure of having to remember an assortment of passwords, it still doesn’t solve the password weakness problem. Both the password logging system and the websites where those passwords are used are at risk for hacks and data breaches. And in order for you to access your login manager, you need a master password that is strong. The convenience still comes with its own risks.
Methods of Passwordless Login Systems
Password-less authentication systems have gained popularity and may replace passwords as the leading login method in years to come. Each form of a password-less system has its own pros and cons. In the grand scheme of internet security, password-less authentication is safer than using a password, but some methods are stronger than others. Here are the most commonly used password-less authentication formats and how they stack up against one another:
If you’ve reset a lost or forgotten password with a link sent to your email, then you’ve used password-less login systems already. To gain access to login credentials via an email-based authentication system, websites send you a link or code, after which you can create a new password for your account. These codes are generally single use, but links can often be used multiple times. Similar to this, single-use codes can be sent to your cell phone via SMS and copied over to the website or application for authentication. If a hacker gains access to this email, they can use it to steal and change credentials for any associated account online. Email-based password-less authentication is generally the least secure, and is often considered just as weak as passwords.
More users are turning to biometric authentication methods for unlocking their devices, accessing certain accounts, and making payments. These include fingerprints, face or eye scans, and voice recognition. The convenience of a biometric login means you’ll never have to remember another password, but these credentials still have their weaknesses.
Your voice is an easy one to steal; every time you answer your phone or carry a conversation near a connected device, your voice could potentially be recorded and stolen. Fingerprints can be lifted off of any object you touch, or even from high definition photos. And your face and eyes are easy targets in the selfie age.
Token and Key Authentication
Tokens carry their own information and act as a clearance key for various websites and applications. In replacement of passwords, tokens correlating to specific users are generated and are referred to by the system at every level of entry that the user wishes to make. Tokens allow only a certain amount of access and can be revoked or forced to refresh at certain intervals. They are nearly immune to hacks on sites where they’re used due to the fact that they are stateless–no session information is stored server-side–and any related information needed is kept client-side.
A key is considered the strongest and most secure login method. There are no passwords to remember, no biometrics to steal, and no locally stored information that can be compromised. Many forms of authentication keys exist today, from cards to USB drives. These physical keys can be removed from compromised computers and servers. Digital keys can be kept to one-time-use or other forms of restriction.
TraitWare®’s Passwordless Approach
TraitWare®’s unique approach to its secure login system is in its password-less QR key and direct device login. This system requires a mobile device as a key to the system. In order to log into a TraitWare®-enabled site or application, you’ll need to scan a generated QR code with the app on your device or directly log in from your authenticated device. It’s really that simple, and it completely relinquishes the need to remember long, complicated passwords or leave them under the umbrella of a crack-able master password. The QR multi-factor authentication and device direct login also eliminates the need to type in a username (which can be painful on a mobile device).
Similar to tokens, the user’s device defines a user, with application permissions set in an authentication server. The patented system secures your login on most popular applications and sites that allow a TraitWare® login, giving you the best password-less security option available today. With a few touches of your smartphone, you’ll be logged in without having to remember a username or complex password, providing no credentials for hackers or scammers to take. Our secure login manager is simple and easy to use, leaving you with peace of mind and extra time.
The Final Word
Multi-factor authentication solutions increase strength and security in your home and business. By introducing a password-less solution, you eliminate the risk of brute force attacks that breach the data of employees and customers. While complex passwords might help, remembering them is a hassle. There are a number of password-less login systems online today, and using them in tandem as a multi-factor authentication method can add complications and take up time.
Ensure your login is quick and secure with TraitWare® by reducing password frustrations with TraitWare®-enabled logins.