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News

Ease Of Password Cracking Drives Demand For Two Factor Authentication

Gemalto : 18 August, 2010  (Technical Article)
Gemalto explains why 2FA technology should be adopted for enhanced network security and explains the paradox of password protection with simple passwords being easy to crack and complex ones being difficult to remember
News that the availability of password-cracking tools can enable criminals to crack even carefully chosen short passwords is proof that a truly secure password doesn't exist, according to Vincent Bonnot, director of online authentication, Gemalto.

"No matter how 'strong' you try to make a password it still won't provide strong network protection. Users often refer to an easy-to-remember and easy-to-decrypt password or try to complicate them in an attempt to make them more secure but then need to write them down in order to remember them. This is counterproductive and automatically makes the network vulnerable.

One of the safest and most cost effective ways to protect sensitive data is by implementing a (2FA) or two-factor authentication access policy for login and remote access. Most UK retail banks have rolled out two-factor authentication devices to consumers significantly reducing online crime and businesses should look to follow suit.

For best results and seamless integration when using this approach, deployment needs to strike a balance between security and convenience for employees. This can be achieved by opting for smart card based solutions, such as corporate badges or USB sticks, which contain two authentication options — a one-time password (OTP) capability and display, and built-in smart card technology to store Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) certificates for strong authentication. This dual approach eliminates the need for complicated passwords and users can just plug the secure USB stick into a laptop or PC, type in a PIN and safely login to a network or website.

Not only does a two-factor authentication approach provide high levels of access security in a convenient manner, it also ensures compliance and regulatory standards are met while reducing costs associated with data breaches."
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