US President, Barack Obama, has called for IT and security professionals to end their reliance on password protection. Concerned that password-protected access to computer networks and systems may be compromising the security of organisations, businesses and personal accounts; Obama has suggested that security focus should be shifted towards multi-factor authentication.
Multi-factor authentication is the process of requiring a number of forms of cyber identification to gain access to a website, system or network. The different forms of identification come in many different iterations – from email verification to fingerprint scanning. By necessitating a number of unique and personal identity authentication processes, security is improved and the risk of hacks is minimised.
Different forms of multi-factor authentication are already a widely accepted form of security for many large online organisations – but it often works in tandem with password protection. But now Obama wants the US, and the rest of the world, to ditch passwords named after sports teams and beloved family pets in favour of a purely multi-factor authentication approach.
Leading by example, the President, has committed billions of dollars to installing multi-factor authentication throughout all federal computer systems. In an article in the Wall Street Journal, President Obama explained:
“In partnership with industry, we’re launching a new national awareness campaign to raise awareness of cyberthreats and encourage more Americans to move beyond passwords—adding an extra layer of security like a fingerprint or codes sent to your [smartphone].
“At the same time, leading technology firms like Google, Facebook, Dropbox and Microsoft are making it easier for millions of users to secure their online accounts, while credit-card and payment companies such as Visa, MasterCard and PayPal are making transactions more secure.”
Many industry professionals hope that this high profile move could encourage all software developers to significantly decrease reliance on the password. A smooth transition to multi-factor authentication access is already underway, but still requires an increase in adoption to complete the execution of the password.
Especially important for born in the cloud software, multi-factor authentication could be the difference between a robust system and one which is vulnerable to attack.
If you are looking at creating an online hub for your businesses health and safety operations, and require robust and reliable software at its very heart, SoNQ can help. For more information about the services and software provided by SoNQ, visit our homepage or call our dedicated team on 020 3740 3748.