Welcome!

Apache Authors: Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, Christopher Harrold, Janakiram MSV

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Cloud Security, @DXWorldExpo, @ThingsExpo

@CloudExpo: Article

No Passwords | @CloudExpo #Cloud #API #AI #ML #DL #DX #Cybersecurity

Right after the Sony Hack became public knowledge (circa November 2014), cybersecurity paranoia set in

Every time there’s a notable cybersecurity breach, someone (even me) writes a comprehensive primer on the proper way to create “secure” passwords. Lather, rinse, repeat. Until a few years ago, everyone (including me) based their password advice on a 2003 paper from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), with the catchy title “NIST Special Publication 800-63.” The paper recommended that passwords be cryptic, contain special characters, and be as close to nonsense as possible.

I was in a camp I called “How to Make a Cryptic Password You Can Easily Remember.” The short version was this: take a phrase you know, such as a favorite quote from a movie, and use the first letter of each word. For example, Sheriff Brody’s famous line from Jaws, “I think we’re gonna need a bigger boat,” becomes [email protected] The trick was using Leet (a technique where letters are replaced by numbers and symbols; see my post from July 2012, “Yahoo! Hacked: What You Need To Do Now”) to add the numbers and special characters. But as you can see from the example, a password made in this way is total nonsense to everyone but you – unless you forget your favorite quote.

That Was Then
Right after the Sony Hack became public knowledge (circa November 2014), cybersecurity paranoia set in and everyone started grasping for ways to enhance their cyberdefenses.

Once again, passwords were in the spotlight, but two strategic camps had evolved. Camp one was advocating the creation of more-cryptic passwords and changing them often (like monthly), and camp two began advocating for the longest passwords possible, made from any words you like and left alone until there was a reason to change them. All my cybersecurity friends fell squarely into the second camp, advocating for the longest passwords possible. My thinking evolved and I fell into line with camp two.

Fast Forward to Today
According to the Wall Street Journal, Bill Burr (the man who wrote the NIST memo back in 2003 that recommended the cryptic craziness and frequent replacement guidelines) has had an epiphany. “Much of what I did I now regret,” said Mr. Burr, 72 years old, who is now retired. If the reporting is accurate, he had very little evidence upon which to base the NIST’s recommendations. (Sort of makes me think about the USDA Food Chart I grew up with. But that’s for another article.) Why were Mr. Burr’s assumptions wrong?

The Math
This very widely circulated cartoon from XKCD tells the story beautifully.

The key takeaway is that the longer the password is, no matter its complexity, the harder it is for a computer to guess.

Now What?
The good news is that Mr. Burr’s old memo has been discarded and the NIST has published new Digital Identity Guidelines. The bad news is that it is going to take quite a while for these new guidelines to become widely adopted. Many sites limit the length of your password to “8-12 characters.” If that’s the case, you can’t use a password that is long enough to be considered safe under the new guidelines. As you know, many sites (especially government sites) require a special character and a number for a password to be considered strong. In practice, it may be years before the Internet catches up. By then, we may not be using passwords at all.

No Passwords
For consumers, passwords are just a way to validate that you are who you say you are. If you forget your password, you can request an email, a txt, or in some cases a phone call to obtain a temporary replacement. So if there’s another valid way to authenticate you, passwords really aren’t necessary. Google, Facebook, and several other sites can be easily used to verify that you are who you say you are. If proper authentication protocols are used, any site could determine you are you by checking to see if you are properly logged in to Facebook or Gmail. Lots of sites already do this, and there are a host of biometric and multifactor identification and authentication schemas fighting to be the new new thing in secure Internet living. Password science is evolving quickly, but it’s likely to be a hot mess for the foreseeable future.

So What Do I Do?
Do what the experts are now telling you to do. Start using the longest passwords possible. I would not use correcthorsebatterystaple, but “passwordswedontneednostinkinpasswords” will absolutely do the job.

Other Articles You May Enjoy

CMOs Shouldn’t Buy Tech, Ever!

How Do You See the Future?

The Five Jobs Robots Will Take First

The Five Jobs Robots Will Take Last

Just How Dangerous Is Alexa?

I’d Pay You $500,000 a Year, but You Can’t Do the Work

Machine Learning & AI: When to Start?

Artificial Intelligence: 5 Things Every CEO Should Know

My Banned Words for 2017

The post Passwords: What if Everything You Know Is Wrong? originally appeared here on Shelly Palmer

More Stories By Shelly Palmer

Shelly Palmer is the host of Fox Television’s "Shelly Palmer Digital Living" television show about living and working in a digital world. He is Fox 5′s (WNYW-TV New York) Tech Expert and the host of United Stations Radio Network’s, MediaBytes, a daily syndicated radio report that features insightful commentary and a unique insiders take on the biggest stories in technology, media, and entertainment.

IoT & Smart Cities Stories
CloudEXPO New York 2018, colocated with DXWorldEXPO New York 2018 will be held November 11-13, 2018, in New York City and will bring together Cloud Computing, FinTech and Blockchain, Digital Transformation, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, AI, Machine Learning and WebRTC to one location.
The best way to leverage your Cloud Expo presence as a sponsor and exhibitor is to plan your news announcements around our events. The press covering Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo will have access to these releases and will amplify your news announcements. More than two dozen Cloud companies either set deals at our shows or have announced their mergers and acquisitions at Cloud Expo. Product announcements during our show provide your company with the most reach through our targeted audiences.
The Internet of Things will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform and how we integrate our thinking to solve complicated problems. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, demonstrated how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and sh...
@DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo, taking place November 12-13 in New York City, NY, is co-located with 22nd international CloudEXPO | first international DXWorldEXPO and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time t...
What are the new priorities for the connected business? First: businesses need to think differently about the types of connections they will need to make – these span well beyond the traditional app to app into more modern forms of integration including SaaS integrations, mobile integrations, APIs, device integration and Big Data integration. It’s important these are unified together vs. doing them all piecemeal. Second, these types of connections need to be simple to design, adapt and configure...
Cell networks have the advantage of long-range communications, reaching an estimated 90% of the world. But cell networks such as 2G, 3G and LTE consume lots of power and were designed for connecting people. They are not optimized for low- or battery-powered devices or for IoT applications with infrequently transmitted data. Cell IoT modules that support narrow-band IoT and 4G cell networks will enable cell connectivity, device management, and app enablement for low-power wide-area network IoT. B...
Contextual Analytics of various threat data provides a deeper understanding of a given threat and enables identification of unknown threat vectors. In his session at @ThingsExpo, David Dufour, Head of Security Architecture, IoT, Webroot, Inc., discussed how through the use of Big Data analytics and deep data correlation across different threat types, it is possible to gain a better understanding of where, how and to what level of danger a malicious actor poses to an organization, and to determin...
Nicolas Fierro is CEO of MIMIR Blockchain Solutions. He is a programmer, technologist, and operations dev who has worked with Ethereum and blockchain since 2014. His knowledge in blockchain dates to when he performed dev ops services to the Ethereum Foundation as one the privileged few developers to work with the original core team in Switzerland.
Cloud-enabled transformation has evolved from cost saving measure to business innovation strategy -- one that combines the cloud with cognitive capabilities to drive market disruption. Learn how you can achieve the insight and agility you need to gain a competitive advantage. Industry-acclaimed CTO and cloud expert, Shankar Kalyana presents. Only the most exceptional IBMers are appointed with the rare distinction of IBM Fellow, the highest technical honor in the company. Shankar has also receive...
Digital Transformation and Disruption, Amazon Style - What You Can Learn. Chris Kocher is a co-founder of Grey Heron, a management and strategic marketing consulting firm. He has 25+ years in both strategic and hands-on operating experience helping executives and investors build revenues and shareholder value. He has consulted with over 130 companies on innovating with new business models, product strategies and monetization. Chris has held management positions at HP and Symantec in addition to ...