Why even the best password security apps can fail: A Complete Fact-Check

Password security apps and password security tips are the two most overhyped elements of cybersecurity.  Businesses and organizations need to stop emphasizing the importance of password security and start embracing passwordless authentication. Eliminating passwords delivers better security measures and it actually reduces the associated cybersecurity costs.

If this is the first time you are hearing about getting rid of passwords, then going passwordless may sound a little strange, but it is actually an improvement. According to reports, businesses and other organizations are spending over $123 billion dollars on cybersecurity and a majority of that goes towards keeping passwords safe. Now you might think “what’s wrong with using very strong passwords and deploying a password security app?” To answer that, let us begin with -- what is a password security app?

What is a Password Manager or Password Security App?

With the increase in the number of websites, social media and work accounts, the number of passwords the average user must remember has grown immensely. Passwords are often re-used by users for simplicity and consistency. However, this is not secure, as password re-use is a leading cause of cyber-attacks. Therefore, complex passwords are best and ensuring they are never used again is better. To assist with this, password managers and password security apps were created in hopes of increasing security and reducing user frustration.

With an average user forced to remember more than 50 passwords, it only makes sense to have the application do the “memorizing”. The password security apps are designed to store and retrieve passwords from a secure database, as and when required.

There are advantages of having password managers and password security apps, however, they remain vulnerable in places. A shared secret is still required and is exchanged over the wire. Another password is then used to store and protect the other passwords, leading to an increased risk breach with just one credential exposing all protected passwords. Potential breaches associated with password managers are still present and must therefore be dealt with.

That explains why going passwordless is an advanced security measure -- as long as  passwords exist, so does the possibility of a security breach.  Fundamental flaws can exist in the password manager system. For example, the master password could be stored in text format. The same goes for all other websites and applications that make use of passwords. So, instead of blaming sites that use traditional, vulnerable password systems, it is time to transition to a more secure user authentication system and that is passwordless authentication.

Importance of Password Security and why is this a problem?

You may have read through the numerous password security tips, such as adding complexity, length, password expiration and even implemented some of those, so what is next? Well, it is not your security you need to be worried about. It is the countless other websites out there that are cause for concern. Those websites do not have the same great security your website does. They might not be hashing or salting passwords.

Also, poor code that logs and records passwords can cause some serious trouble. But why are these systems, systems you have no control over and did not build, such a problem? The root cause of your troubles is password re-use. Passwords get re-used across multiple sites. Users might alter and modify the password to some degree, but for the most part, users often employ the same passwords for all apps and websites.

The systems that do not sufficiently protect passwords leak user IDs and passwords to hackers as well as attackers over the dark web. These systems are weak, vulnerable, and ripe for attack. Once a password has been leaked from one of your users on a different website, it is just a matter of time before it is used on your website or app and the account is compromised within your systems and applications.

The fading importance of passwords and possible solutions

What do you do then? If building the most secure password storage system cannot protect you from attacks, what can be done? Two-factor authentication (2FA), sometimes called the multi-factor authentication (MFA) is one option that you can use for your app, website, portal, or organization. In this case, if a hacker uses a stolen password on another one of your user accounts, that hacker would still need another factor to complete the authentication.

Current 2FA methods are cumbersome and require shared secrets to be stored, which make them susceptible to be stolen or compromised. Plus, 2FA secrets can't be hashed like passwords, making 2FA secrets less secure than storing regular passwords. Auth Armor solves this by enabling 2FA without hard-to-type codes or shared secrets.

The secure, next step in authentication is to go passwordless. With passwordless authentication, nothing needs to be stored or retrieved when forgotten. As a result, there is nothing for hackers to steal nor is there anything for developers to log.

Auth Armor is the ideal security solution that can solve many pressing issues as well as make account authentication much safer. If you are looking for a password security app for your employees, it is time to cut to the chase and look for the long-term solution passwordless authentication.

Visit https://www.autharmor.com to get started.