Worried About Your Passwords? Authy May Have the Answer

password alternative

Cybercriminals are getting more sophisticated. Online security breaches are becoming more common. And that means that your password security — as it exists today — may not be strong enough.

Marc Boroditsky, president and COO of Authy told Entrepreneur:

“If you look at the password, it’s not even technology … it’s a process that’s left over from the horse and buggy era, and we’re using it to protect our financial information, our health information, our online activities. It was always inevitable that passwords would be replaced.”

To be perfectly accurate, Authy doesn’t really replace your password. The app makes it stronger, according to Authy, by adding a second step in the authentication process. When signing in anywhere on the Web, users of the app enter their existing password first. Then they add a constantly changing code generated by the app to complete the sign in process.

The result is obvious. Your password will be harder — if not impossible — to crack, if it is literally always changing with each new sign-in.

password alternative

Developers and businesses that want to use the service need only drop a few lines of code into their system. This allows Authy users to take advantage of the more secure sign-in method if they so choose. And while Authy does charge businesses a fee when people use the authentication method, it’s much less complicated than developing a whole new security system. For small and medium sized businesses that don’t have the technical staff and resources to do so, it can also be much cheaper.

Companies like Google have been working on alternatives to the password for some time. But Boroditsky says that Authy is much simpler to set up and use.

Today’s consumers are increasingly concerned with security. Particularly for businesses that deal with sensitive information, offering a more secure log-in process like this could set you apart. And in the future, it could even become the norm.

Boroditsky predicts that two-step verification will become standard practice for most online portals within the next three years. He adds:

“Customers have said to me, ‘I use two-factors anywhere I can.’ They recognize that a single string of letters and numbers is just not enough to protect what you do online anymore.”

Password Photo via Shutterstock

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Annie Pilon Annie Pilon is a Senior Staff Writer for Small Business Trends, covering entrepreneur profiles, interviews, feature stories, community news and in-depth, expert-based guides. When she’s not writing she can be found exploring all that her home state of Michigan has to offer.

9 Reactions
  1. Sounds very cool and I know the pain of remembering passwords. I’ve got so many bouncing around my head.

  2. Aah, a dynamic code forms an extra security layer. I like that.

    It appears to be free to download for users too.

  3. Claiming that “a password + something else” is an alternative to the password is like claiming that “a man and a dog” is an alternative to a man. Would it make any sense?

    Anyway, 2 is larger than 1 on paper, but two weak boys in the real world may well be far weaker than a toughened guy. Physical tokens and phones are easily lost, stolen and abused. Then the password would be the last resort. It should be strongly emphasized that a truly reliable 2-factor solution requires the use of the most reliable password.

    At the root of the password headache is the cognitive phenomena called “interference of memory”, by which we cannot firmly remember more than 5 text passwords on average. What worries us is not the password, but the textual password. The textual memory is only a small part of what we remember. We could think of making use of the larger part of our memory that is less subject to interference of memory. More attention could be paid to the efforts of expanding the password system to include images, particularly KNOWN images, as well as conventional texts.

  4. Is this the same procedure as when you log in on your online bank account? I have a gadget that is generating a code after I have entered my personal password.

    • Sounds like a similar system. Mine doesn’t require that second step, but it would definitely make sense!

    • Perhaps it is the same, Martin. I have a secondary layer on my bank account too. If that’s the case with Authy, then that’s an extra password to remember. But I guess if you forget, you’ll be sent a new password. But I think Authy automatically generates a code so there’s no extra password to remember? Not sure.