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09:15 AM
Edge Editors
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Edge Features

Tell Us the Truth: Why Do You LOVE Passwords?

There must be something you appreciate about the humble password, right? Tell us what you think.

(Image: raccoondaydream via Adobe Stock)
(Image: raccoondaydream via Adobe Stock)

As World Password Day fast approaches, the passwords of the world have nothing to celebrate. 

Those poor, miserable, unloved masses of passwords. They remember the days when they were so cool! The days when merely knowing a password made you cool. When a mysterious, croaky voice muttering "What's the password?" was the truest sign that one was about to have a very memorable evening. 

Now though ... now everyone says there are too many passwords! They say passwords can't be trusted! They say we should get rid of passwords altogether!  

Well, OK. Move to "passwordless authentication" if you must. But why not raise a glass and say a few kind words for the humble password before you lay it to rest? 

Send us your thoughts at [email protected] with the subject heading: "Why I like passwords," and they may appear in an upcoming Dark Reading article. If you would like to share but remain anonymous, please note that in your message. (Notes from "a secret admirer" will still be considered.)     

The Edge is Dark Reading's home for features, threat data and in-depth perspectives on cybersecurity. View Full Bio
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User Rank: Strategist
4/26/2021 | 10:45:53 AM
"Something you know" is a fundamental authentication factor
Authentication of a person has long been understood to consist in three possible "factors" - something you have (key or token), something you are (biometrics), or something you know (passwords).  A password is no different from a secret key for symmetric encryption, which is used for secure transmission of untold terabytes, zettabytes or more of sensitive data every day.  It's just that the secret key is something we hold in our heads.  Arguably this is more secure than tokens, which can be stolen, or biometrics, which have been successfully spoofed over and over.

The current fad of trying to 'eliminate' passwords is little more than a silly slogan.

While not sufficient by themselves, passwords are a critical authentication factor that we must continue to use.
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