Monday, October 30, 2006

And the Password Is:

6. Giving out passwords, tokens or smart cards

The password problem is as old as computers themselves. Despite years of trying, however, no one has come up with a workable solution, however, one might not be far away as online payment vendors Pay By Touch and UPEK earlier this month unveiled a finger-sensor payment service, TrueMe, which lets users access account information through a biometric fingerprint scanner..

In a study published just this week by global research firms Nucleus Research and KnowledgeStorm, companies' attempts to tighten IT security by regularly changing and increasing the complexity of passwords is having no effect on security.

Despite years of IT warnings to the contrary, about one in three people still write down their computer passwords somewhere near the machine, either on a piece of paper or in a text file on a PC or mobile device, the researchers said.

"This is really a lot like Mom and Dad buying a great new security system for the house, and Junior leaving the combination under the doormat," said David O'Connell, senior analyst at Nucleus Research, in a published interview. "Passwords are high maintenance: People forget them; people lose them; they have to be reset."

Some experts also say that employees can be too trusting of acquaintances, colleagues and family members who may "borrow" their passwords or authentication tokens, exposing them even more broadly to loss or theft. This is a particular risk among telecommuters or road warriors who may give out their passwords to help a friend or relative. "You might trust the employee, but you have to draw the line at friends and family," says one expert.

The researchers at Nucleus Research and KnowledgeStorm suggested that enterprises should look to increasingly improving authentication technologies, such as single sign-on and biometrics, as potential answers to the age-old problem of password management.

To read the entire Forbes Article click the link below:
The Ten Most Dangerous Online Activities