Tougher gadget authentication could make the password extinct

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Are passwords no longer needed?

An article by Wall Street Journal reporter Chris Mims publishing his Twitter password suggests so and it's stirring debate.

Chris Weber, co-founder of Casaba, a cyber security firm, told companies are looking to develop stronger security systems to protect online information.

“Right now there's a big debate within the technology community over the role of the password going forward in consumer and industry technologies,” said Weber.

There is a new push for two-factor authentication (2FA), which industry experts believe can substantially reduce the significance of having a password. 2FA has two levels of security that verify the identity of the user.

“It’s definitely the best way to go – the cost [to upgrade] is slightly marginal compared to the benefit you’re going to get out of it,” said Weber.

He says reverting to any single-factor authentication system will create new security problems.

Tech developers see incorporating biometrics as crucial for their future products.

“Already, we've seen Apple introduce biometrics into its iPhone,” said Weber. “Samsung may go one step further with a retina scanner for its Galaxy Note 4, and the rise of wearables is also spurring more biometric advances.”

Biometrics retain some personal information he points out, which has caused concern among privacy advocates.

“If that information gets compromised somehow – today if a password gets compromised I change it, but if a database of biometric information gets compromised … how do you change that becomes [difficult].”

Weber suggests using “password managers can be a really helpful tool for consumers and they allow you to create strong passwords you don’t have to remember.”