Are Passwords an Effective Security Measure? Were They Ever?

Posted: April 4, 2022

Passwords have been front-and-center for data security since 1960, but even their creator–MIT researcher Fernando Corbató–doesn’t think he should take full credit passwords. In fact, if you brought this up to the researchers who did create them, they would tell you that the security concerns for their time were much more limited.

We are finally at a point, however, where passwords might no longer be the most prominent authentication method.

Passwords are Ultimately Problematic, and It’s Our Fault

Year after year, the most popular password is so simple that it makes me cringe just thinking about it. Here they are for the past two-and-a-half years.

  • 2020: 123456
  • 2021: 123456
  • Early 2022: 123456

This is just one of the many bad password practices that research has exposed time and again. Today’s blog isn’t about how to improve passwords, though; we’re diving into how passwords can not only sink your security, but also your productivity!

Password Resets Monopolize Help Desk Calls

There are reports out there that show password resets are one of the biggest and most common reasons why help desks are contacted. Simply resetting a password can take a lot of time on both the technician’s side of things and the user’s side. Let’s go through the process and see how much time is actually wasted:

  1. The user types in a password, only to have it kicked back. Whoops—they either mistyped it, or they forgot it. Either way, your user tries a few until they either lock themselves out or give up… wasting time there.
  2. The user then has to reach out to the support team, where they’ll need to wait until someone is available to help them… wasting time there.
  3. Once someone can assist them, they’ll need to bring the support desk up to speed…wasting time there.
  4. The support desk then needs to take the time to resolve the problem.

Keep in mind that the entire time this process is going on, you’re dealing with downtime. This means the employee is not working or being productive. Even worse, the employee probably isn’t going to notice that this process is not a simple one, meaning they may not take remembering the password as seriously as it should be.

In This Context, Passwordless Technologies Make More Sense

This is one of the best reasons for you to implement passwordless authentication measures. If you want to know what your options are, we can help! Learn more by calling us at (250) 483-5623.

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