Striking A Balance Between UX and Security
Accessing vital information to complete day-to-day tasks often requires using a password-based system. They are essential in the transactional relationship between a user and a host. Historically, this relationship has been effective from both the user experience and host perspectives; passwords unlocked a world of possibilities, acted as an effective security measure, and were simple to remember. That all changed rather quickly.
Today, bad actors have become ruthlessly skilled at cracking passwords – whether through phishing attacks, social engineering, brute force, or buying them on the dark web – prompting broad changes to how we must create, store, and manage passwords. The problem is these changes have made the user experience more convoluted and complicated. In other words, we’ve lost the balance between UX and adequate security under the suddenly antiquated system of password-based access.
Under the current system, companies have two choices: subject employees to burdensome processes to access work servers or become low-hanging fruit for a cyber attack.
By choosing the former, end users must comply with unintuitive experiences such as creating complicated passwords and dealing with complex password reset procedures. But new systems are emerging that are more secure and easier to use, and they are revolutionizing the user experience while not compromising security.
The good news is that passwordless authentication – which is being implemented across various industries – will do away with password-centric systems and once again restore the balance between user experience and security. Let’s talk about how.
A balance between UX and security: the need to tradeoff between one or the other has ended.
Passwordless authentication is a login method that relies on other factors besides passwords ranging from login keys to biometric data such as a fingerprint or a facial recognition system. While these systems might require more effort upon their initial set-up, from the moment they are up and running, they provide a far superior user experience to end users while improving security. That’s because they leverage a unique physical device that only the person authorized to access a secure destination should possess, or because the biometric data the system leverages is one of one and is always in possession of the person authorized to use it (we certainly hope!).
Like the password-centric systems of our past, passwordless authentication will evolve, but it won’t complicate the end-user experience. Instead, accessing critical information will become fast, seamless, and intuitive, all while drastically increasing security of the individuals and organizations who leverage it.
We’re at a simple crossroads when it comes to the trade-off:
- An organization can subject their employees to a cumbersome process involving multiple passwords across multiple devices, complicated storage requirements, endless trainings, and an army of IT people to manage it, all while remaining at heightened risk for an attack. OR…
- An organization can adopt a passwordless, biometric-based solution where their employees tap a button, swipe a card, or look at a camera, and they’re off to work, all while keeping bad actors at bay.
And passwordless authentication is not a far-off concept. Iterations are currently in use across various industries and products, such as within our smartphones and on the keyboards of our laptops. The ease of accessing your smartphone and multiple apps with a fingerprint or face scan proves that security does not need to come at the expense of user experience.
Moving to a passwordless system is a decision any organization of any size can make today. Those who have been innovating in the space for years are ready to have a conversation about what that looks like.
For a system to be introduced and adopted at scale, ease of use is crucial, and security must be uncompromising. Password-based systems have historically solved the need to strike a balance between UX and security, but these solutions are no longer the best way to manage the tradeoff. They have become convoluted, complicated, and vulnerable to malicious actors, as breaches have become more common. The time has come for passwordless systems that seamlessly integrate into businesses without significant disruptions and provide a simple, intuitive, yet secure experience for all.
About Kelvin Zero
Kelvin Zero is a decentralized platform for highly regulated industries. It empowers companies, individuals, and eventually entire industries to realize the benefits of blockchain and Web3 technology while guaranteeing compliance and security within the platform. Founders Philippe Desmarais and Thierry Gagnon sought to find a more efficient solution to protecting sensitive information.
After learning about the steps and costs banks were taking to secure customer data, they developed a vision to find a new way to interact in the digital world. Kelvin Zero will transform the way in which businesses, governments, and individuals can interact with each other without compromising their sensitive information.