Image Source: Microsoft
No matter how many steps are taken by developers to ensure that users data and privacy is secure, there is always one very commonly used security tool that unfortunately provides a massive hole in any security implemented in software, devices and websites... the password.
One of the hardest tasks for me in my years as a developer has been to try to get people to understand the importance of using secure passwords to lock down their systems so that they can use technology safely and securely. Unfortunately most people cannot grasp the importance of using secure passwords and seem fairly unaware of the massive risks of not being secure on and offline, whether it is in their own home or whether they are responsible for keeping client and staff data safe. Most people will use easy to remember passwords, use the same password for all of their accounts, store their passwords in files on their computer, or even worse.. write them down and leave them lying around for anyone to pick up.
It isn't just human error that is an issue with the common password. Over the last year or so you should of seen quite a lot about major companies getting hacked and users personal data being leaked onto the internet, there is not one single piece of software, one bit of hardware or one website in the world that is uncrackable, and we won't have this level of security until we progress further with Quantum Physics.
As technology has advanced it has become clear that we need to devise new ways to keep people secure, and Microsoft are one of the companies that have done just that!
On March 17th Microsoft announced an amazing new tool in the war against cyber crime. Windows Hello will be available with Windows 10 when it is released and uses biometric authentication to securely log users in and out of devices, applications, networks and websites.
What is biometric authentication? now this is the cool part! Windows Hello will use facial recognition, your iris, or your fingerprint to identify you and unlock your devices. Sounds like something out of the movies or from the future doesn't it? Well as I have been trying to tell people for a long time, the future isn't the future anymore, the future is now!
Initially Windows 10 will verify that your device is in your possession and not someone else by using a pin or biometric sensors with Windows Hello if your device supports it. Once verified you will be authenticated into apps and services via Passport, a password-less authentication system that means that no passwords have been sent around the internet that could be used to hack you.
The one fallback I feel that this system has is that Microsoft are going to allow its users to choose whether they use this feature or not, I feel that there should be no choice and it should be the only option for logging in and hope that while the feature is optional that everyone adopts it.
Apart from that I really support this move from Microsoft and hope we get the opportunity to test it out as part of the Insider Program, I already have some cool ideas of how I can integrate this feature into the project I am developing as part of the Microsoft Windows Developer Program for IoT and really look forward to finding out more about the amazing new security feature.
Check out the video by Microsoft below for a more in depth look and detailed information about how this will prevent you from being hacked. If you don't know much about internet security the video may help you understand more about why you need to stay secure and how hackers are able to steal your information if you don't take measures to stay safe.