Cybersecurity

The end of passwords?

Secure passwords are a real pain in the neck. Simple to remember but far too easy to crack, or sufficiently long and complex but hard to remember. And you should change them regularly, too. How nice it would be to no longer have to deal with the tiresome topic and still be able to be sure that data and accesses are well secured. But there is hope.

Spiegel Online editor Matthias Kremp introduces a method that has so far been a little inconvenient and has therefore hardly been used by private individuals, but mainly by large companies with their own IT departments: FIDO. FIDO stands for Fast Identity Online.  To log in with FIDO, you no longer need passwords, but only a digital security key. So far, FIDO has mainly been used in USB dongles with a fingerprint sensor - like those from Yubikey.

User-friendliness is to increase significantly in future – it will be possible to access one's FIDO credentials from several devices via the cloud. The second innovation is that you can use your smartphone to log on to websites and services via FIDO. This could be the breakthrough for wider adoption – and possibly the beginning of the end of passwords.