Due to the influx of web services and applications we use on a daily basis, today’s consumers are living in what one would call a “password hell”. With nearly every application having a different set of password requirements, the average user can have upwards of ten different passwords at a time. The problem is, users choose to reuse a “common password” and reuse passwords to make it easy to remember. However, this can be incredibly risky when it comes to the privacy and security of information.
For years, experts have mentioned that passwords are not the firmest solution to securely identify users. To aid in the era of “too many passwords” there have been efforts to create shortcuts and password managers to eliminate the number of passwords users need. For Example:
Single Sign-On method or Social Logins: using an already existing set of login credentials to access multiple applications and systems. By using existing login information from another account such as Facebook or Google, it gives you the ability to log in to additional applications and websites using your social profiles. Despite social login with Google, Facebook, Twitter, etc. and multiple efforts by the carriers, there is still no good standard for single sign-on (SSO).
Two Factor Authentication (2FA): typically includes SMS, call with a code or some other secondary authentication and has vastly improved security. Even if someone manages to get a hold of your username and password to Google, Facebook or your bank it’s very unlikely that they will be able to cause any damage. But given the option many people switch off two factor authentication as it’s a user experience barrier.
With almost all personal data now being stored in the cloud, data security is more important than ever before. However, due to the challenges presented with password security, it’s becoming more questionable.
Challenges in Data Privacy
In an effort to protect the integrity of users’ data, over a hundred blockchain/crypto ICOs have been launched – including the objective of improving privacy and data security, but so far fraud is more prevalent than services that actually improve security. Believe it or not, ransomware is still on the rise as businesses continue to work through their cybersecurity issues, targeting corporations around the world.
Large corporations and government agencies such as Under Armour, Exactis, major universities, and government agencies continue to get hacked, exposing vast amounts of customer data. Look at the incident with Facebook. Facebook quickly shrugged off the first wave of data privacy scandals including Cambridge Analytics and meddling in the US election and UK Brexit vote, but maybe there is a longer-term impact. And now the most recent Facebook hack underscores the risk of relying on social login for access to other sites. But with the vast security resources that Facebook has it might still be more secure than the same username and password used across multiple sites.
How to Approach Data Privacy & Security?
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), put in place as a guideline for the collection and processing of personal information in Europe, is set to reduce the amount of e-mail spam sent and improve the overall data privacy of users. However, in the few months this has been in place, there is limited proof that it has worked.
The solution? Organizations that are transparent about how data is used, stay within the rules and regulations and allow customers to choose how much data they want to share, win loyalty and trust. If it truly benefits the service, most users will share their data.
Stay tuned for the final piece of this series to find out how these six trends are expected to shape success in 2018.
- Apps replacing office tools
Magnus Jern, Chief Innovation Officer