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Why Usernames and Passwords Are Not Enough for Authentication

Dr. Abdulrahman Kaitoua
April 01, 2020

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When it comes to security, simply using usernames and passwords won’t cut it anymore. Learn why multi-factor authentication is key for protecting your data.

At this point in the cybersecurity game, we all know that login credentials carry a large risk of being stolen. But if you change them once a month and use strong usernames and passwords, your accounts will stay safe, right?


Today’s hackers are more than capable of getting past this basic form of protection. We saw it happen back in January 2019 when a single data breach released 773 million records into the public eye. Since then, countless other personal and business accounts have been breached and the numbers only continue to rise.

If you’re still using usernames and passwords to protect your data, it could already be too late—read on to find out why.

The Danger Behind Usernames and Passwords

Most of us are familiar with password and username best practices. We’re supposed to change them often and use a random combination of numbers, letters, and characters. We should also avoid reusing passwords (or their variations) across different sites.

Assuming you follow all of these rules without fail (which is unlikely), you may think it keeps your data safe. When it comes to cybersecurity, though, human error is often the weakest link. Hackers can trick you into entering your login info into a compromised platform and hack into password databases.

Uncertainty around the security of login credentials isn’t new—we’ve been doubting their effectiveness for decades. The fact is that if your usernames and passwords haven’t been stolen already, they will be in the future.

Once they’re in the wrong hands, they can be sold on the dark web to anyone who wants to buy. This has more serious consequences than strangers being able to read your emails. In 2016, almost 32% of data breach victims later had their identities stolen.

All things considered, it’s time to move beyond our current idea of logging in and into a non-binary approach.

Continuous Behavioral Authentication in the Modern Era

Why do we use passwords and other forms of binary authentication when they’re not secure?

Much of the time, it’s because we either don’t realize how ineffective they are or we don’t know what to replace them with. Even retina scans and fingerprints carry danger. While they’re unique to each person, you can’t change them once they’re stolen.

Continuous Behavioral Authentication takes care of that concern. It’s a method of account protection that constantly checks to make sure your user activity is legitimate.

It starts with a traditional username/password, PIN, QR code, or biometric login. Then the system uses biobehavioral modeling to measure the risk of a user’s activities. If they try to complete a “risky action,” like accessing financial records, a prompt will ask them to provide another confirmation of their identity.

If an action is too risky or the credential check fails, the user won’t be able to access the resource. This method of authentication makes sure that hackers can’t use bots and credential stuffing to access your sensitive data.

The end result? Your data will be protected from breaches and you can run your business with greater peace of mind.

Usernames and Passwords Are Obsolete: It’s Time for an Upgrade

If you or your business are still relying on a system of usernames and passwords to protect your data, the time to upgrade your security is now.

When you’re ready to switch over to a more modern solution, Acceptto can help.

Contact us today to find out how Continuous Behavioral Authentication can keep your business’s information on lockdown.

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