Post-Password Predictions And What They Mean For You

BeyondTrust, January 18th, 2012

The list of problems with passwords has been documented over and over again: Users keeping spreadsheets of their personal passwords, using ordinary everyday words, keeping their passwords on sticky notes, or constantly harassing the IT department for help with forgotten passwords–the list goes on and on.

Even clever password creation and rating sites have been created to help mitigate the password problem.

As Charlie Osborne writes in this ZDNet article on the subject, “We’ve all had those moments, cursing under our breath, when after three attempts you are locked out just as you remember the actual word and number combination. Or even worse, forced to fill out mud-smear captchas until your eyes start to swim.”

Sound familiar? It’s certainly frustrating. So what’s coming down the pipe? IBM recently put out a video with some predictions of what will be coming down the pipe as a possible replacement for passwords.

Whether or not IBM is right on with their predictions or not, the future of authentication will almost surely include some sort of biometric identification. Something that is truly unique to you and only you. Imagine being able to securely login to your system just by saying your name. It’s well within reason.

So what does this mean for you? Well, no future authentication system will be successful unless it ties back to a centralized identity store. At BeyondTrust we’re certainly advocates of centralizing your users’ identities within Microsoft Active Directory–the main directory of choice for nearly all top enterprise companies.

And no matter what platform you and your vast network of users are logging in to–whether Windows, Linux, Unix, or Mac OS X desktops or servers, physical or virtual–the authentication should map back to AD, and have a full history of authentication events available for auditing. As the future of password authentication evolves, you can be sure that BeyondTrust will be on the cutting edge of adopting these new technologies into our AD bridge solutions.