With a multitude of passwords to remember to ensure our daily personal and working cyberspace activity can be carried out with the optimum security, has the time come to initiate a new entry system to the myriad of software at our fingertips?

KPMG, a global network of professional firms providing audit, tax and advisory services, has given a resounding ‘yes’ to the question of whether it is time for an alternative to the simple password as an automatic network entry system.

As part of its annual list of predictions, the company’s Technical Director, David Ferbache, has called for passwords to be ditched in favour of a more sophisticated approach to authentication. He claims passwords have become one of the weakest links in our security chain, and predicted 2016 will see terrorists look to exploit the vulnerability by deploying cyber-based extortion attacks.

Mr Ferbache reportedly announced “passwords are broken”, with people being forced to adopt more convoluted passwords whilst trying to avoid obvious or super-strong ones. Authenticating people using a blend of biometrics, behavioural analysis and contextual information is the way to eradicate the growing threat of cybercrime, according to Mr Ferbache. He said many businesses were beginning to turn their attention to what a cyber incident might mean for business, and how they might restore and maintain customer confidence in the event of a security breach.

Mr Ferbache warns that although cyber-attacks might not carry the same devastating visual impact as a bombing or shooting tragedy, they are likely to become increasingly common “in our interconnected, interdependent world”, making it “an issue for the whole C suite, not just the CIO”.

The password apocalypse isn’t likely to happen for a number of years, Mr Ferbach said, but warned businesses an alternative strategy was worth investigating before that particular Judgement Day.

Food for thought perhaps for the next time we attempt to log on to our laptop or PC and mutter the infernal question, “Now…what was my password again?”

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