Gaining access has always been important.  We need to gain access to go places, we need to gain access to view things we want to see, we need to gain special access to places others can’t go.  Indeed, gaining access is critical to our lives.

The password, a product developed decades, ago has been our solution to gain access to the internet.  The password ,once intended to do nothing more than provide level one security, somehow experienced a spidering effect.  That’s right, there was a day when you had just a few passwords.  One to access the device, one to access your email account and one for your cable TV account.

The next thing we know, a product designed to offer level one support developed to protect rather mundane items, is now the master key to our entire world, including our currency and our identity.  How did passwords subtly become the most demanding online commodity in the world?  If passwords were launched as an IPO, traded on the stock market in 1990, it’s value would be through the roof today.

Long-sophisticated passwords cost us time and time is money.

Passwords control your personal access to everything and it’s time for that to change.  Think about it, there are plenty of times when your very own password becomes a barrier, preventing you from gaining access; the exact purpose for what they were intended!

In 1960 when you wanted to access a new television channel you had to walk over to the TV and switch the channel manually.  Hasn’t the way you access a channel changed?  How about accessing a garage?  Do you park the car, open the door and then walk over to open the garage door?  How about the way you access a bridge or a highway?  Do you remember needing pocket change to pay the toll and the lines that would cause?  Today, do you use EZ-Pass?

The online world just got complacent and the password took advantage of our laziness. Imagine if we had to pay for passwords, buy them like some product available on Amazon.  Would you have a different perspective?  Would you have used as many?  Would you pay a premium for a stronger password?

Because there is a price to pay with passwords.  The weak ones are breached, and then data, currency and identities are stolen.  Long-sophisticated passwords create a negative user experience, cost us time and time is money.  They, also,  cost us time entering them because they are impossible to remember so we enter them slower, and we also forget them and have to go though the time consuming forgot my password merry-go-round, a real waste of precious time.  Passwords are more costly than you think. Forrester found that large organizations spend up to $1 million each year in staffing and infrastructure expenses to handle these password resets.

Let’s not ignore the fact that passwords are the yellow brick road to data breaches.  Hackers and cyber thieves invest countless hours trying to infiltrate security infrastructures to break the code, just to identify a single password which earns them a rainbow of riches. Forrester’s research found that one in four (24%) of breaches in the last year were caused by insider attacks.

In 2018, we’re finding that responsible organizations are deploying biometric authentication solutions to make gaining access more secure and more convenient.  That’s right, biometric technologies offer a unique dual-benefit to the organization.  Biometric authentication increases security without increasing the friction that’s typically associated with making something more secure.

When we consider what actions are typically associated with “increasing security” we envision potential hurdles that prevent access.  Thus, beyond the well documented security benefits, comes the day to day, minute by minute, delivery of one-touch convenience.

Yet, if we had a flow chart that tracked the number of passwords we accumulate year after year, it would be astonishing to most of us.  It’s also highly likely that the number will only continue to grow year over year.  Which leads me to my point.  Now I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be seventy-nine and have to remember 122 passwords; I don’t think I can do it!

As a reluctant participant in the onslaught of passwords, I understand why there needs to be a better solution.  As consumers just can’t continue to accumulate passwords, it just doesn’t seem reasonable.  In business, it only takes one conversation with the IT manager responsible for password management to understand just how draining passwords are behind the curtain.

What we all battle is the tradition of passwords.  From those early personal and fun passwords like Mickey7, to the less creative on demand passwords like password123, to BK1&ih8!!mN*12, passwords have woven their way into our lives and it won’t be easy to migrate away, but like every technological advance, once you do, you’ll ask yourself, how did I ever put up with entering BK1%ih8!!mN*12 every time I wanted to access that website?   Worse, you typed it in wrong, because the % is supposed to be a #, which happens all the time with sophisticated passwords, slowing draining productivity and certainly not adding to morale.

Here’s something to consider.  In the beginning, it was the early adopters that pioneered the first biometric authentication deployments.  Government agencies and healthcare led the way.  Next, as awareness grew, deployments because more commonplace and health clubs, tanning salons, fast food retailers and alike began to integrate biometric technology.  During the past decade biometric authentication is being used across every industry and around the world.  It’s no longer a rarity.  Even Disney uses fingerprint ID at it’s entry gates.  Furthermore, when you take a deeper look you’ll find that virtually no one goes back to their incumbent solution.  It’s a fact, once organizations see the way biometric technology addresses its security, reporting and workflow concerns, there’s no turning back. Is it time for you to turn your back on passwords or will you have a better memory than me at seventy-nine?

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