Following news that one of eBay’s databases containing end-user passwords has been compromised after hackers gained access to ‘a small number of employee log-in credentials’, one expert in secure identity is urging businesses to ditch passwords and usernames altogether in favour stronger authentication. Richard Parris, CEO and founder of Intercede comments:” While eBay is right to advise its users to change passwords, the real issue is that usernames and passwords are increasingly unfit for purpose” they do not offer proof of a person’s identity and are easily lost, stolen or hacked. To be even remotely effective, they have to be increasingly complex, which makes them harder to remember and very user-unfriendly. What’s more, many people use the same username and passwords combination for multiple sites and applications, so it’s not just the information that eBay holds that is potentially at risk, but information on any other application with the same password” that could include email accounts, mobile banking, online shopping to name just a few. ” All businesses, including eBay need to wake up to these risks and adopt stronger authentication for both employees and users of their services or sites. The answer lies in two-factor authentication” something you have and something you know. We’re already familiar with this and use it in the form of chip and PIN everyday with our bank cards. It’s now time for businesses and society to wake up to the fact that passwords are dead and we need a more secure alternative.”
Brian Sims BA (Hons) Hon FSyI, Editor, Risk UK (Pro-Activ Publications) Beginning his career in professional journalism at The Builder Group in March 1992, Brian was appointed Editor of Security Management Today in November 2000 having spent eight years in engineering journalism across two titles: Building Services Journal and Light & Lighting. In 2005, Brian received the BSIA Chairman’s Award for Promoting The Security Industry and, a year later, the Skills for Security Special Award for an Outstanding Contribution to the Security Business Sector. In 2008, Brian was The Security Institute’s nomination for the Association of Security Consultants’ highly prestigious Imbert Prize and, in 2013, was a nominated finalist for the Institute's George van Schalkwyk Award. An Honorary Fellow of The Security Institute, Brian serves as a Judge for the BSIA’s Security Personnel of the Year Awards and the Securitas Good Customer Award. Between 2008 and 2014, Brian pioneered the use of digital media across the security sector, including webinars and Audio Shows. Brian’s actively involved in 50-plus security groups on LinkedIn and hosts the popular Risk UK Twitter site. Brian is a frequent speaker on the conference circuit. He has organised and chaired conference programmes for both IFSEC International and ASIS International and has been published in the national media. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk UK at Pro-Activ Publications in July 2014 and as Editor of The Paper (Pro-Activ Publications' dedicated business newspaper for security professionals) in September 2015. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk Xtra at Pro-Activ Publications in May 2018.