Passwords are seen as a staple of cybersecurity. They’re an old-school, tried and tested barrier against the evil forces of the internet, your first line of defence against attackers.
Everyone uses passwords in some way or another and most of us use multiple passwords for multiple accounts, all at the same time. And there’s a good reason for that: passwords work.
They’re effective at deterring fairweather attackers and lazy criminals, and a password-protected account is always going to be significantly safer than one without a password.
However, passwords are nowhere near as effective as they could be. As cyber-crime increases and the need for security becomes more pressing, it could be time to look elsewhere for our security solutions.
Blockchain technology is one of the more promising alternatives to password security. It could remove many of the flaws in passwords and lead the way to a new era of cyber protection.
First, let’s take a look at the current problems with passwords.
Here’s a concerning statistic: 28% of U.S. adults use the same passwords for most of their accounts.
This is a serious problem because it means that if hackers manage to get hold of just one password they gain access to multiple accounts, with the potential to cause enormous damage.
And it gets worse. People are notoriously careless with their passwords and rely on simple and easily guessed strings of letters and numbers, like ‘123456’ or the dreaded ‘password’. Some sites aim to force users to be more secure, by requiring a combination of letters, numbers, and characters. But even then, the likes of ‘Password123!’ aren’t exactly watertight.
So passwords aren’t as safe as they could be, and the risks are high. The average cost of a company data breach currently stands at $3.8 million, which could be fatal. To make matters even worse, attacks are on the rise. Cyber-attacks on mobile devices alone are increasing by 40% every year.
All of this highlights just how important it is for businesses and individuals to move away from password technology. It’s outdated and will always be highly vulnerable to human error.
But what’s the alternative? The truth is, passwords have survived for so long despite their flaws because there aren’t many other options. Passwords are convenient and simple; they get the job done.
Now, though, there could be an answer. Blockchain could be the thing to steal the password’s long-held crown.
Blockchain has been making headlines for some time for its various uses. Many of these involve security in some way, as this is something the technology is well suited to. It’s decentralized, uses powerful encryption, and is highly resistant to corruption and hacking.
Networks that use a central point are vulnerable to attack, but as blockchain is decentralized it’s much more difficult to target. Blockchain has been trailed by powerful organizations around the world and is becoming recognized as a secure and efficient way to handle data.
Promising startups like Remme are using blockchain technology to provide a solution to the weaknesses of password security. They aim to provide a simpler and much more secure solution that could completely change the way we protect our data.
Remme’s software assigns an SSL/TLS certificate to every device for which you’d normally use a password. These certificates are then stored safely on the blockchain, which is immutable. This means it’s almost impossible to tamper with, making the certificates easy to authenticate and verify.
Remme also uses 2-factor authentication based on messenger apps that users are already familiar with. This means you can use your most trusted medium to receive authentication messages.
The blockchain solution to protection is becoming more and more necessary. As the Internet of Things becomes more widespread, it becomes more important to provide solid security for a range of devices. With a network of gadgets all connected to the internet, the options for attack become far greater.
The problem with passwords is that they’re too dependent on people. A simple human error can result in passwords that are too weak, or shared with other people, or duplicated. Blockchain removes the element of human error and makes security more reliable.
For Remme, the future looks bright. The token sale was a success and the Alpha release has now been announced.
Blockchain technology represents a new way of looking at cybersecurity in a rapidly evolving age and a sorely needed improvement on existing methods.