Welcome!

Cloud Security Authors: Zakia Bouachraoui, Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Yeshim Deniz, Liz McMillan

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
In his general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Manish Dixit, VP of Product and Engineering at Dice, discussed how Dice leverages data insights and tools to help both tech professionals and recruiters better understand how skills relate to each other and which skills are in high demand using interactive visualizations and salary indicator tools to maximize earning potential. Manish Dixit is VP of Product and Engineering at Dice. As the leader of the Product, Engineering and Data Sciences team at D...
Bill Schmarzo, Tech Chair of "Big Data | Analytics" of upcoming CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO New York (November 12-13, 2018, New York City) today announced the outline and schedule of the track. "The track has been designed in experience/degree order," said Schmarzo. "So, that folks who attend the entire track can leave the conference with some of the skills necessary to get their work done when they get back to their offices. It actually ties back to some work that I'm doing at the University of San...
When talking IoT we often focus on the devices, the sensors, the hardware itself. The new smart appliances, the new smart or self-driving cars (which are amalgamations of many ‘things'). When we are looking at the world of IoT, we should take a step back, look at the big picture. What value are these devices providing. IoT is not about the devices, its about the data consumed and generated. The devices are tools, mechanisms, conduits. This paper discusses the considerations when dealing with the...
Bill Schmarzo, author of "Big Data: Understanding How Data Powers Big Business" and "Big Data MBA: Driving Business Strategies with Data Science," is responsible for setting the strategy and defining the Big Data service offerings and capabilities for EMC Global Services Big Data Practice. As the CTO for the Big Data Practice, he is responsible for working with organizations to help them identify where and how to start their big data journeys. He's written several white papers, is an avid blogge...
Dynatrace is an application performance management software company with products for the information technology departments and digital business owners of medium and large businesses. Building the Future of Monitoring with Artificial Intelligence. Today we can collect lots and lots of performance data. We build beautiful dashboards and even have fancy query languages to access and transform the data. Still performance data is a secret language only a couple of people understand. The more busine...
If a machine can invent, does this mean the end of the patent system as we know it? The patent system, both in the US and Europe, allows companies to protect their inventions and helps foster innovation. However, Artificial Intelligence (AI) could be set to disrupt the patent system as we know it. This talk will examine how AI may change the patent landscape in the years to come. Furthermore, ways in which companies can best protect their AI related inventions will be examined from both a US and...
Enterprises have taken advantage of IoT to achieve important revenue and cost advantages. What is less apparent is how incumbent enterprises operating at scale have, following success with IoT, built analytic, operations management and software development capabilities - ranging from autonomous vehicles to manageable robotics installations. They have embraced these capabilities as if they were Silicon Valley startups.
Chris Matthieu is the President & CEO of Computes, inc. He brings 30 years of experience in development and launches of disruptive technologies to create new market opportunities as well as enhance enterprise product portfolios with emerging technologies. His most recent venture was Octoblu, a cross-protocol Internet of Things (IoT) mesh network platform, acquired by Citrix. Prior to co-founding Octoblu, Chris was founder of Nodester, an open-source Node.JS PaaS which was acquired by AppFog and ...
The deluge of IoT sensor data collected from connected devices and the powerful AI required to make that data actionable are giving rise to a hybrid ecosystem in which cloud, on-prem and edge processes become interweaved. Attendees will learn how emerging composable infrastructure solutions deliver the adaptive architecture needed to manage this new data reality. Machine learning algorithms can better anticipate data storms and automate resources to support surges, including fully scalable GPU-c...
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...