Word passwords? Why do we need to eliminate

Why are word passwords detrimental to security?

The use of simple passwords is another factor that contributes to security breaches. There are a small number of dictionary words, a small number of digits, and a small number of special characters, which results in a small number of passwords that are quickly guessable. Furthermore, if your password has been exposed in any of the password dumps, a hacker is more likely to find it. Additionally, a lot of people don’t change their passwords at regular periods.

Additionally, it is common for people to use the same word passwords for numerous accounts and websites, which is extremely risky and not advised. But it is also a time-consuming chore to create new passwords for each new account across a variety of websites. Consequently, the same passwords are used. This situation is known as “password fatigue.” This is described as “the emotion experienced by many people who are compelled to remember an excessive number of passwords as part of their daily routine, such as to log on to a computer at work, unlock a bicycle, or conduct banking via an automated teller machine” by Wikipedia.

What steps do businesses take to address this?

Many firms adhere to rigorous password regulations to address this password-related issue. They use a minimum password length, special characters, and a combination of lower- and uppercase letters and digits. These can all be used by end users to create secure passwords.

MFA (Multi-Factor Authentication), an authentication system used to authenticate a user utilizing multiple verification processes, has recently been embraced by numerous organizations. Typically, a password is an initial step. The second stage offers a variety of possibilities, such as an OTP sent to the registered email address or mobile number, or an authentication code from a favorite authenticator application (such as Google Authenticator and Microsoft authenticator).

How to make authentication password-less

The following six methods can be used to authenticate a user regardless of a predetermined password:

Authentication via a biometric.

A user’s identification is verified via biometric authentication, which is based on the distinctive biological characteristics of humans. Physical characteristics utilized as authentication parameters include fingerprints, retina scans, depth scanning of the face, etc.

Hardware-specific security tokens

It is a little piece of hardware that keeps the extra data needed for authentication during user login or service authentication. The additional data that is typically saved rotates numerically every 30 seconds. One-Time Passwords (OTPs), Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA), or Two-Factor Authentication are specifically used by hardware tokens (2FA).

When a specialized security token has the following qualities, the user’s system is more protected from assaults and breaches:

Possession

To use the system, the user needs to have something on hand, like a phone or a key card.

Knowledge 

The first step in the authentication process is the password, which the user must know.

Inheritance

It is more secure when biometrics (like fingerprint or face scanning) are added.

Authentication with certificates

An additional method of authentication is through digital certificates. System authentication in an organizational network is one application for certificates. The CA verifies the install certificate (Certificate Authority). When it comes to the verification of certificates, the certificate chain of trust is crucial.

Single-Use Password (OTP)

OTP is an automatic passcode that is produced for a one-time transaction or login session. It is an alphanumeric string. One significant benefit of OTP is that it expires after a specified amount of time, preventing attackers from reusing it for nefarious purposes.

Magic links in emails

They are unique links that are sent to the user’s email and when clicked, authenticate the user. The system goes through the following steps:

  • The user’s email address is requested by the website.
  • The person types in their email address.
  • The website creates a token, which is followed by the creation of the magic link.
  • The user’s email address receives the magic link from the application.
  • The user gets authorized when they click the magic link, which sends a query to the application at the magic link endpoint.

Applications for authenticators

A one-time passcode is generated by these third-party programs, and it is updated every 30 seconds. The account for whom we configured MFA is connected to the authenticator applications.

Conclusion

The number of hackers, their level of expertise, and the likelihood that basic word passwords will be cracked are all increasing with each passing day. A more secure form of authentication, such as 2FA or hardware tokens, must thus be adopted by individuals and businesses. However, this trip will take some time. As a result, there is a greater need than ever for password awareness.

Find out how secure your password is by reading this article: How Secure is My Password?