Why passwords are your biggest security risk

With cyberattacks and data breaches on the rise, organisations need a better security solution than the humble (and highly hackable) Pa33w0rd.

Despite headline-topping news about major data breaches and theft impacting everyone from small businesses to multinationals, the biggest security risk may actually be on your payroll: your staff. More than two in three (67%) data breaches are due to human error, with sub-par data security, a lack of training and poor security management the major contributors.

Passwords are the crux of the problem because they provide an easy way for malicious actors to compromise your valuable assets and sensitive data. The solution? Deploying passwordless authentication in your enterprise.

There’s no such thing as a secure password

A Microsoft executive once remarked that the only secure password is the one you can’t remember. The reality is that no password is ‘uncrackable’, just as no website or enterprise is ‘unhackable’. At least not by traditional standards.

The best way to prevent a hack is to pretend the hack has already happened. That means smart business leaders need to recognise that the conventional way of securing their systems and data – i.e. passwords – is no longer a viable option, especially if they want to ensure the integrity of their most valuable assets remains intact.

After all, if weak, stolen and reused passwords are the cause of a staggering 81% of breaches, you’d be a fool to think your business and employees are immune to the threat.

What is passwordless authentication?

Modern problems require modern solutions, which is why big tech firms like Microsoft are embracing the benefits of passwordless authentication. Not only does it drastically improve your organisation’s overall security, it makes employees’ lives more convenient and allows the IT department to manage growth with greater ease.

Passwordless authentication is essentially any sign-in activity that lets you access something secure without a static character-based password. You’ve no doubt experienced this multiple times yourself, whether it’s a single-use link sent to your email or a one-time unique code messaged to your smartphone.

But when it comes to protecting the sensitive assets of an entire business, an SMS code just isn’t going to cut it. Enter: biometrics. Whether it’s a fingerprint or facial scan, this technology is rendering passwords obsolete. That means you no longer have to worry about your employees forgetting their passwords or accidentally sharing company login information with outside parties.

An individual’s ability to access secure assets – whether digital or physical – will live in the one thing they will never forget: themselves.

5 reasons you should be using passwordless authentication

Biometric-driven security for everyday purposes is no longer a pipe dream. It’s a solution that savvy business leaders are investing in as they recognise the need to protect their firms against rising cyberattacks and data breaches. Here are five reasons why you should be using passwordless authentication too:

  1. Ease of use: Passwords are a hassle, and even more so in the workplace. They need to be conceived (in the best-case scenario with a complex mixture of characters, numbers and symbols), remembered and entered regularly just so an individual can do their job properly. Passwordless authentication eliminates this pain.
  2. Streamlined operations: A forgotten or stolen password can hinder business productivity. After all, if your employees can’t log into the systems they need, then you are losing time and money while the IT helpdesk finds a solution.
  3. Improved bottom line: Resetting a password may seem like a non-issue that’s easily managed, but it’s an expensive process for businesses. In fact, Okta estimates the average cost is $70 per employee per reset, and the risk rises exponentially the larger the organisation – costing US$1.9 million annually for firms with 10,000+ employees.
  4. Greatly reduced risks: With the majority of breaches due to poor password management, eliminating the need for them entirely means you don’t have to worry about lost or stolen credentials and can ensure only those with permission can access sensitive systems.
  5. It’s here to stay: The bottom line is that passwordless authentication isn’t a passing trend. By 2022, Gartner predicts “60% of large and global enterprises, and 90% of midsize enterprises, will implement passwordless methods in more than 50% of use cases – up from 5% in 2018”. The sooner you adopt biometrics, the sooner you reap the rewards of better security, lower operational costs and an improved user experience for your staff and stakeholders.

With a DaltreyID, your team experiences seamless passwordless authentication across all physical and digital access scenarios. See how it works >