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The Real Reasons Why Users Stink At Passwords
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JulietteRizkallah
JulietteRizkallah,
User Rank: Ninja
9/29/2016 | 11:02:53 AM
Passwords and user behavior
Interesting commentary.  Any way you look at it, this password issue is not getting resolved any time soon.  Awareness and training will help marginally, but in the end users will always favor convenience over security.  MFA will certainly help but is not 100% secure either.  So what will it take?  Hard to say but it feels that in this particular area, user behavior analytics may help detect a compromised account shortly after the breach. So in this specific issue detection is critical since prevention seems difficult to establish (i cannot believe i am writing these words after preaching for so long that detection was not enough and prevention necessary!).  When it comes to passwords, continuing to think we can chnage human behavior is ludicrous and we need to think outside of the box towards new solutions.
T Sweeney
T Sweeney,
User Rank: Moderator
9/29/2016 | 11:47:37 AM
Re: Passwords and user behavior
Thanks for weighing in, Juliette. I've kidded security vendors for years about their inability to create smarter users. Clearly, training and trying to solve this password problem from the human side is not going to work. I agree with you that some sort of predictive analytics should be added. Unfortunately, the human factor in the equation means anything we come up with will be imperfect/penetrable.
Dr.T
Dr.T,
User Rank: Ninja
9/29/2016 | 6:06:39 PM
Re: Passwords and user behavior
"... the human factor ..." Agree. We want things that are simple and not forcing us to remember things in our busy daily lives.
RyanSepe
RyanSepe,
User Rank: Ninja
9/29/2016 | 1:36:34 PM
Re: Passwords and user behavior
I think an additional parameter is cost. Biometric authentication under MFA can strengthen authentication substantially but is costly to implement. Still needs to be a consideration depending on the value of the data each individual is protecting and the varying levels of acess provided.
RyanSepe
RyanSepe,
User Rank: Ninja
9/29/2016 | 1:38:39 PM
Re: Passwords and user behavior
I understand this article seems to be more directed towards the consumer space but biometric controls are becoming more prevalent for consumer devices such as fingerprint.
Dr.T
Dr.T,
User Rank: Ninja
9/29/2016 | 6:12:29 PM
Re: Passwords and user behavior
"... fingerprint ..." For some reason fingerprints do not pickup on other devices other than mobile phones. I always use it on my iPhone but not on my laptop. It needs to be stable and easy to use across devices.
RyanSepe
RyanSepe,
User Rank: Ninja
9/30/2016 | 9:19:47 AM
Re: Passwords and user behavior
Yes there needs to be consistency. I believe there are laptops that open via fingerprint I am just not sure as to the efficacy of that mechanism for laptops.
Dr.T
Dr.T,
User Rank: Ninja
9/29/2016 | 6:09:34 PM
Re: Passwords and user behavior
"... additional parameter is cost ..." Agree. There is cost and there is privacy issues in the alternative solutions. Our DNA clearly indnetifies us uniquelly, of course we are not allowed to use it.
RyanSepe
RyanSepe,
User Rank: Ninja
9/30/2016 | 9:21:54 AM
Re: Passwords and user behavior
Yes depending on your method of biometrics privacy concerns are relevant. IE retina scans can identify potential health issues which is private information.
T Sweeney
T Sweeney,
User Rank: Moderator
9/30/2016 | 12:31:18 PM
Re: Passwords and user behavior
I hear you on the issue of cost and multi-factor authentication, RyanSepe. Still, smartphone makers have been able to incorporate fingerprint technology into their gear without any apparent increase in the cost of the phones. So it leaves me wondering, how hard (okay, expensive) can it really be?
RyanSepe
RyanSepe,
User Rank: Ninja
9/30/2016 | 3:17:52 PM
Re: Passwords and user behavior
I very much agree. I'm thinking this cost pertains more to the laptop, desktop, and server environments. Mobile phones have evolved to the point where touch is the major interface point, making fingerprinting a logical premise. Laptops and other devices outside of the handheld realm haven't been as quick to make that transition. Now with the laptops being touch screen on many of the newer models I can definitely see an integration in the near future. The main question is, on devices that don't have this consistent touch interface what is the cost to create a biometric interface?
Dr.T
Dr.T,
User Rank: Ninja
9/29/2016 | 6:04:33 PM
Re: Passwords and user behavior
"... Awareness and training will help marginally, ..." Mainly agree but password being the credentialing is a main problem. Not secure by nature.
Dr.T
Dr.T,
User Rank: Ninja
9/29/2016 | 6:02:32 PM
Changing password often
There was another study a few weeks back supporting the idea that changing password often has no impact on security, it might have been even a negative impact.
RyanSepe
RyanSepe,
User Rank: Ninja
9/30/2016 | 9:24:11 AM
Re: Changing password often
I would think the potential benefit is random when changing passwords. Meaning if someone is trying to bruteforce it either via dictionary or rainbow tables if you change to a password that was previously attempted then the security principle of changes passwords benefited you. If not, then your password is just a new password that has yet to be attempted.

Can you elaborate to how changing passwords would have a negative effect? Not sure how that plays out. Thanks,
jfontana
jfontana,
User Rank: Author
9/7/2018 | 7:25:49 PM
Two-years on and this story still relevant
This is why authentication is getting a facelift.


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