More Proof Passwords Fail to Protect Critical Information

Nov 25, 2013 By Geoff

In early October, Adobe was hit by a massive cyber attack. This well-orchestrated breach appears to have impacted more than 150 million users worldwide.

The attack is a harsh reminder that passwords fail to protect personal information and corporate data. Passwords no longer provide the security and anonymity required to protect business and personal information. But if you're reading this, you knew that already.

The slightest vulnerability in the authentication process can result in improper access, data theft, loss of intellectual property and data manipulation. As hackers get smarter, and the sheer number and combination of passwords grow, these attacks progressively increase in scope and frequency. The point is, the longer we choose to use passwords as a society, the easier we are making it for hackers to exploit and plunder the web and other sensitive systems for our personal information.

While security breaches are frustrating and inconvenient for consumers, they can spell disaster for an organization. A recent study by the Ponemon Institute revealed the average loss for companies with one or more breach is approximately $9.4 million. And as we store more password "protected" data online, this cost is going to rise, and quickly.

Every organization is at risk and the same scenario Adobe is grappling with could easily happen to companies in the healthcare, retail, banking, legal, media and entertainment industries. Any industry with reliance upon user authentication (hint: everyone) is vulnerable.

In the world of cyber security, businesses and individuals need to stay several steps ahead of the hacker methodologies. We have to think differently. This means dumping passwords and moving to a passwordless authentication world. Not an easy task, but we're up to the challenge.

Tagged: Security