The Problem with Passwords

By Brett McDowell

Brett McDowell is the Executive Director of the FIDO Alliance, the organization he helped establish in 2012 to remove the world's dependency on passwords through open standards for strong authentication. Previously, McDowell was Head of Ecosystem Security at PayPal, where he developed strategies, lead initiatives, and spearheaded their authentication strategy to make the Internet safer for PayPal and their customers. McDowell has held several leadership positions including founding Management Council Chairman for the NSTIC IDESG, co-founder and Chairman of, Treasurer for the National Cyber Security Alliance, Secretary for, and Vice President for FIDO Alliance.

As data breaches become more common and cyber-criminals become more adept at stealing personal data, there’s a need to develop better ways to protect people’s identities online. Brett McDowell is the Executive Director of the FIDO Alliance, an organization that develops strong authentication standards to better protect individuals’ digital identities.  McDowell spoke with The Cipher Brief about the problems with passwords, and how biometrics, used in conjunction with FIDO standards, can be used to augment and improve authentication.

The Cipher Brief: Most people and organizations use passwords to protect their information online. What are some of the deficiencies with relying solely on passwords to protect data?

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Categorized as:Cyber Tech/Cyber

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