Google has been conducting some password safety research. Wired reports that the company will publish this research in an upcoming edition of Security and Privacy Magazine later this month. Inside the report will include what we all know to be true: passwords of the alphanumeric type just don’t work anymore. What will Google be suggesting as a replacement? Physical items that act as password protectors seem to be the future of passwords.
Reportedly, Google is working on a cryptographic card that contains password details and can be accessed through a USB port. Additional physical password keepers include rings, smartphone chips, and other interesting gadgets. There’s no doubt that passwords as we know them aren’t all that secure anymore, but is a physical object the answer? Google certainly seems to think so.
Why Physical Password Devices Are Necessary
Getting hacked these days is almost a given. No matter how secure you think your passwords are, this information can be intercepted at any time. It’s a lot harder for someone to steal password details that are embedded into a physical object. Further, physical items like smartphone chips can include passwords or bypass the password step altogether. If Google’s new security data rings true enough and the company implements physical password objects, other password security methods that have been in place in recent years would become obsolete.
Google is already ahead of the curve when it comes to password encryption. The company offers Gmail users the choice to go through a two-step password process that includes sending a temporary password text message to a cellphone. This temporary password can then be used in conjunction with a current password for extra security, but even this is not enough. The one problem with a piece of hardware containing password information is that a device can easily become lost or stolen.
Certain Drawbacks May Occur
Yet, a stolen device is a lot easier for a company to deal with than malicious malware attempts or the outright theft of an account. Just take a look at what happens when a smartphone is lost. It’s not such a big deal to track down a smartphone or lock out anyone who has that phone, right? Well, the same idea would be applied to any hardware device that contains password information. One has to wonder, though, whether a company like Google would charge users a fee for a password device.
Google’s new security report could mean a change in the way that we access files and important documents that just aren’t safe with the usual number/letter passwords. Or, Google could be laughed out of the tech sphere for suggesting physical devices – the whole concept does seem kind regressive, doesn’t it? Are there no other technologies out there that would prevent hacks from happening? Some are suggesting fingerprint technology and hand gestures. Have we gone so far that nothing other than a physical device will work? Stay tuned for more news from Google – there’s certain to be a raucous when this report is published.