Securing the Digital World

Will you miss your favorite passwords?

Oct 25, 2018 | by Tony Karam |

In this digital age of cloud and mobile technologies, there seems to be an app for just about everything. And whether you’re checking email, shopping or paying bills online, or jumping into an epic battle in the latest multi-player game, passwords play a critical role in connecting you to what have become everyday activities. So much so, that passwords even have their own day!

With passwords acting as our digital doormen to the goods and services we deem essential, ironically they’ve become a source of pleasure and pain all at the same time. We curse at the screen and even bang the keyboard when we can’t remember them, but when we get it right the euphoria we feel can be somewhat exhilarating.

Like other things we cherish, passwords are usually made from our favorite things such as kids’ birthdays, pets’ names, or college mascots. We also keep them physically close to us, in our heads, stored on our phones or written in our daily planners. So how would you feel if they suddenly vanished?

If you’re like the overwhelming majority of digital adventurers, you will gladly say so long and good riddance!

Password(less) Tipping Point

Believe it or not, computer passwords have been around for over 50 years – it was 1961 when the first computer password was developed by a team of MIT researchers while working on a multi-user computer system known as the Compatible Time-Sharing System (CTSS). And while basic passwords have evolved to more complex ones, and secondary two-factor and multi-factor authentication (MFA) have become much more popular, we haven’t yet found a good answer for eliminating the password pain plaguing us each and every day. It’s all about to radically change…for the better.

While visionary leaders have been predicting the death of the password for the better part of twenty years, Microsoft’s Windows Server 2019 seems to have taken a giant leap forward in making that dream a reality.

Solutions like Windows Server 2019 allows organizations using Microsoft Active Directory Federation Services (AD FS) to use multi-factor authentication as the primary authentication method, for AD protected resources. With an MFA-first approach to authentication, businesses can better protect their passwords from compromise and eliminate passwords from the login process all together.

A win-win scenario. Users no longer endure the pain and suffering associated with managing passwords, and organizations get the added security of MFA and knowing that users really are who they say they are.

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RSA has been working with Microsoft to make RSA SecurID® Access primary authentication in Microsoft AD FS a reality for our joint customers. Check out minute 16:00 of this Microsoft demo to see how customers can use RSA SecurID Access for primary authentication to both increase their security and ease user frustration, all while reducing their dependency on static passwords.