Researchers at Purdue University are trying to change the way we think about IT security. The team at Purdue’s International Center for Biometrics Research envisions an IT world where passwords are no longer the norm.

How can passwords be replaced?
Security measures once only featured in movies are becoming reality. Smart phones introduced us to the fingerprint scanner earlier this year. Similar technology includes iris scanners, voice recognition and facial recognition software, which are frequently used in conjunction with military devices.

Why aim to eliminate passwords?
It’s estimated that the average person has at least 25 accounts that require passwords for access. Nearly all accounts have strict minimum requirements including at least 8 characters, capital letters, numbers and symbols. If the accounts are particularly secure, they will require you to regularly change the password. Best practices for passwords include not saving them on computers or asking websites to “remember” them, so it’s no surprise that users often forget their passwords or confuse them among accounts.

Peshkova/Shutterstock

Peshkova/Shutterstock

Is it possible?
Finger print recognition software is currently being tested at a KFC restaurant in West Lafayette, Indiana, where Purdue University’s main campus is located. Cash registers, which formerly required employees to enter a password, are now being accessed using fingerprint scanners. According to the assistant manager, passwords used to be verbally shared, so the technology has, in fact, increased security.

Hype or Ripe
Is biometric security hype – or can technologies like fingerprint scanners and voice recognition software replace the use of passwords?

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