Passwords Extinct as Authentication Goes Mobile

Passwords Extinct as Authentication Goes Mobile

Intel Corporation coined May 5, World Password Day as a way to remind users to exchange their old, worn out passwords for a new one on their most sensitive accounts. This year, AT&T is shaking things up by offering something new to its users: No more passwords.

In a blog post earlier this week, AT&T SVP and chief security officer, Bill O’Hern wrote, “Forgotten passwords become history as authentication goes mobile.

“Today, everything requires password, passcodes, security questions and user names,” O’Hern said. “Imagine being able to skip this process entirely and sign in to your corporate network or a private database with only your fingerprint, or by clicking a button on your phone or smart watch.”

O’Hern is talking about AT&T’s new identity and access management (IAM) platform, Halo. The company developed IAM platform as an easier and more secure way for people to login to all of their mobile devices and computing systems using fingerprint biometrics. They believe that soon, the passwords and PIN codes we’ve been using for years will soon be irrelevant.

In order for this no-password concept to work, IT security teams at government agencies and corporations need to adopt Halo and being rolling it out to employees. While AT&T is focusing mostly on enterprise systems, they believe that more commercial availability should follow shortly.

For those of you who just want to stick with the old-fashioned password, check out my tips here on how to create the most secure password possible.


About the Author

Sydny Shepard is the Executive Editor of Campus Security & Life Safety.

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