Information security is one of the most important issues of our present and certainly of our future. But the habits of writing down dozens of passwords with random asterisks and underscores are antiquated.
Our on-line information is distributed across social networks, blogs and banking systems, and our security isn’t any more sophisticated.
Parisa Tabriz, Google’s manager of information security engineering, thinks that the future of information security will be in Near-Field Communication (NFC) and wearables. These are technologies that could make on-line security stronger and less prone to phishing attacks.
Versions of thumb prints and eye scans could make passwords altogether unnecessary. With so much information on-line, security will need to keep pace and anticipate changes.
With the direction of Tabriz and others, Google is working on its Universal Second Factor (U2F) program that will make authentication easier and stronger.
Using USB or NFC connections, the U2F program plans to send one-time passwords to websites accessed with Google’s Chrome browser. After use, the passwords would be discarded, and your personal information would be safe on your USB/NFC device.
The YubiKey is one of the first products that puts the U2F system into consumer use.
Fashioned like a familiar USB thumb drive, the YubiKey emits one-time passwords to websites that renew every 30 seconds to prevent attacks. While in use, no two websites understand they’re communicating with the YubiKey; each connection is unique and importantly ephemeral.
Security standards are crucial for the future of information technology. But the systems that learn to merge ease of use and durability of security will be the most successful. Blending technologies like NFC and wearables will suit heavy-duty information security to the convenience of people’s lives. We have so much to worry about, and one less step it takes to guarantee our security is one more step toward relaxation.
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Photo Credit: Yubico and Lifeshield
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