How many passwords do you have? If you’re at all like our Lock and Code host David Ruiz, that number hovers around 200. But the important follow up question is: How many of those passwords can you actually remember on your own? Prior studies suggest a number that sounds nearly embarrassing—probably around six.
After decades of requiring it, it turns out that the password has problems, the biggest of which is that when users are forced to create a password for every online account, they resort to creating easy-to-remember passwords that are built around their pets’ names, their addresses, even the word “password.” Those same users then re-use those weak passwords across multiple accounts, opening them up to easy online attacks that rely on entering the compromised credentials from one online account to crack into an entirely separate online account.
As if that weren’t dangerous enough, passwords themselves are vulnerable to phishing attacks, where hackers can fraudulently pose as businesses that ask users to enter their login information on a website that looks legitimate, but isn’t.
Thankfully, the cybersecurity industry has built a few safeguards around password use, such as multifactor authentication, which requires a second form of approval from a user beyond just entering their username and password. But, according to 1Password Head of Passwordless Anna Pobletts, many attempts around improving and replacing passwords have put extra work into the hands of users themselves:
“There’s been so many different attempts in the last 10, 20 years to replace passwords or improve passwords and the security around. But all of these attempts have been at the expense of the user.”
For Pobletts, who is our latest guest on the Lock and Code podcast, there is a better option now available that does not trade security for ease-of-use. Instead, it ensures that the secure option for users is also the easy option. That latest option is the use of “passkeys.”
Resistant to phishing attacks, secured behind biometrics, and free from any requirement by users to create new ones on their own, passkeys could dramatically change our security for the better.
Today, we speak with Pobletts about whether we’ll ever truly live in a passwordless future, along with what passkeys are, how they work, and what industry could see huge benefit from implementation. Tune in now.
Show notes and credits:
Intro Music: “Spellbound” by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 4.0 License
Outro Music: “Good God” by Wowa (unminus.com)
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