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Bill Gates and Strong Authentication

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Bill Gates is talking about strong authentication, and people are (grudgingly) agreeing with him.  If Microsoft really starts to push biometrics (several new Microsoft hardware products have been announced employing fingerprint technology) and/or smart cards, the industry might start moving this direction more quickly.  I can tell you as a person responsible for security on a online banking website, getting rid of reusable passwords would help a lot of people to sleep better at night!

Please note that the fingerprint-enabled technology described in the link above are intended for home users only.  However, this could mean that MS is going to push harder in the corporate world too.  I guess we'll see...

Comments
  • I think that the easiest way to achieve a reasonable accuracy in authentication should use a combination of two technologies:
    1) authentication based on physical media/device. Either magnetic card, smart card OR biometrics
    2) password or pin authentication.

    In the end I guess we will have both...

  • 80 bucks for the keyboard... not bad. I'd like to see how well it works.

  • If the log on by fingerprint worked in domains, I would be ordering a case of these to replace the insecure passwords of my lazy users tomorrow.

  • I was also disappointed in it not supporting domain authentication. Shame on me for not checking before I purchased the stand-alone unit. I have a feeling the issues at hand were more complex and would have greatly slowed its release to market if domain authentication was built-in. I too, would be ordering a truckload, if that were the case. I would think, as owner of the operating system, MS could really step up to the plate in this regard with a solid solution. However, it looks like the supporting software for this device was simply purchased or licensed from another company and tweaked. I would think years ago MS Research would have been all over this and first to market with Windows OS support.