Credential changing policies and
complex passwords are
decreasing security
Agenda
• Cybercrime Statistics
• Cybercrime Causes
• Password Complexity Myth
• User name & password paradigm overused
• F...
Cybercrime Statistics- Digital era
•

1.5 Billion wired individuals (over 10 passwords each)

•

6.8 Trillion e-mails sent...
Cybercrime Statistics- Hacking Impact
•

$ 1.8 trillion in damages to the global economy

•

$ 4.6 million loses per compa...
Cybercrime Main Causes
1- Credentials Complexity & changing
1- Credentials Complexity & changing
2- Username & password pa...
Cybercrime Main Causes

1- Credentials Complexity & changing
1- Credentials Complexity & changing
Authentication bypassing- Password complexity
plays no role
“The stronger the password the less secure the system”
The lis...
(1) Steal Password (from previous slide)
“Password complexity plays no role”
#

Techniques to steal
passwords

Are complex...
The argument for complex passwords hold little
water (from previous slide)
•

(1) Brute force guessing
– Antiquated, most ...
Gartner - Authentication: Myths and Misconceptions
Debunked (see report attached).
“Passwords must be changed every 90 (or...
Cybercrime Main Causes

2- User ID & Password overused
2- User ID & Password overused
User ID and password overused
•

User ID and Password it’s a paradigm we inherited from the mainframe times when
systems w...
Cybercrime Main Causes

3- Forfeiting of personal identification data
3- Forfeiting of personal identification data
Forfeiting of personal identification data
•

It is easy to remember credentials when they are related to something natura...
Cybercrime Main Causes

4- End User malpractice
4- End User malpractice
End user malpractice
•

Users do share credentials with friends, family and co-workers what compromises their
security and...
Cybercrime Main Causes

5- Lack of innovation
5- Lack of innovation
Lack of Innovation
“If you keep doing the same things over and over, you will keep getting the same
results over and over”...
Ideal Technology
•

One where the longer we keep the same credentials the more
secure the system becomes.

•

The less com...
Ideal Technology (cont)
•

Non-invasive architecture (SOA)

•

Configurable security levels based on: application, user,
t...
Marcos de Pedro Neoris authenware_cybersecurity step1
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Marcos de Pedro Neoris authenware_cybersecurity step1

  1. 1. Credential changing policies and complex passwords are decreasing security
  2. 2. Agenda • Cybercrime Statistics • Cybercrime Causes • Password Complexity Myth • User name & password paradigm overused • Forfeiting of personal data • End user malpractice • Ideal Technology scenario • AUTHENWARE, the solution.
  3. 3. Cybercrime Statistics- Digital era • 1.5 Billion wired individuals (over 10 passwords each) • 6.8 Trillion e-mails sent every day • 1 Million new Facebook subscribers per day • 375 Million wireless networks • 10 Million new web-pages per day • Every “second” 3 babies are born and 28 mobiles purchased • Global internet usage growth 356%
  4. 4. Cybercrime Statistics- Hacking Impact • $ 1.8 trillion in damages to the global economy • $ 4.6 million loses per company on intellectual property • US pentagon hacked via Northrop Grumman (29,000) • RSA (division of EMC) hacked on 3/17 ($ 500M) • Sony hacked on 4/6…and the list goes on…. • ……14 people hacked per second • In the US we spend $ 40 dollar on coffee/person and $ 0,025 on security…
  5. 5. Cybercrime Main Causes 1- Credentials Complexity & changing 1- Credentials Complexity & changing 2- Username & password paradigm is overused 2- Username & password paradigm is overused 3- Forfeiting of personal identification data 3- Forfeiting of personal identification data 4- End-user malpractice 4- End-user malpractice 5- Lack of innovation 5- Lack of innovation
  6. 6. Cybercrime Main Causes 1- Credentials Complexity & changing 1- Credentials Complexity & changing
  7. 7. Authentication bypassing- Password complexity plays no role “The stronger the password the less secure the system” The list below is not exhaustive, but it shows the pattern. Passwords are not the only means of bypassing authentication. There are several popular techniques, and password complexity plays no role in defending against them…” # Techniques to bypass authentication Are complex passwords a defense? Is AuthenWare a defense? 1 Steal Passwords Sometimes YES 2 SQL Injection No YES 3 Cross Site Scripting No YES 4 Steel Data from the browser No YES 5 Privileged Escalation No YES
  8. 8. (1) Steal Password (from previous slide) “Password complexity plays no role” # Techniques to steal passwords Are complex passwords a defense? Is AuthenWare a defense? 1 Brute force guessing Sometimes YES 2 Intelligent guessing Sometimes YES 3 Phishing No YES 4 Sniffing No YES 5 Social engineering No YES 6 Keystroke loggers No YES 7 From browser memory No YES 8 From browser history No YES 9 From Browser refresh No YES 10 Crack database locally Sometimes YES To a Hacker passwords are strings of characters, if he can access a simple string he can access a complex one just as easily
  9. 9. The argument for complex passwords hold little water (from previous slide) • (1) Brute force guessing – Antiquated, most systems will only allow a set number of tries before accounts get locked out. Lockout forces resets and users have hard time recalling new passwords • (2) Intelligent guessing – While password complexity helps with intelligent guessing the stats show users need to write down the passwords which significantly decreases security. Guessing windows is small, due to set number of password tries. • (10) Crack a database locally – If the hacker get a local copy of the database he has all the time in the world and all tools at his disposal so complexity will only cause a delay in time. The advantages are few but the decrease in security due to the human factor is high
  10. 10. Gartner - Authentication: Myths and Misconceptions Debunked (see report attached). “Passwords must be changed every 90 (or even 30) days password aging is a major reason users have difficulty remembering their passwords, yielding operational and security problems namely, a high help desk call volume for password resets (typically peaking in the days just after the change) and the increased likelihood that users will write down their passwords” Other justifications for this practice are based on weaknesses in other processes or controls that are better remediated in other ways (see the previously cited research and "Management Update: Eight Security Practices Offer More Value Than Password Aging"). Nevertheless, regulations often parrot it, and auditors continue to enforce it, whether or not any germane regulation explicitly requires it. Therefore, it's hard to avoid being a slave to this myth. A few clients report successfully rebutting auditors by quoting the Gartner research cited”
  11. 11. Cybercrime Main Causes 2- User ID & Password overused 2- User ID & Password overused
  12. 12. User ID and password overused • User ID and Password it’s a paradigm we inherited from the mainframe times when systems would only be accessed within the firewall. • During those days only known and registered individuals would be able to access systems an applications which were just few at the time. • During the mainframe era there were many users for every single terminal (1 to N), any user who wanted to access a system had to come to a terminal an type a set of “never changing” credentials. • With the advent of personal computers organizations evolved to one computer for every user (1 to 1), then the internet came along and we opened the back door of our systems so people could access these from the outside…..and still we are sticking with user id and password for accessing these systems! • Nowadays not only we have a proliferations of systems and applications, we also have proliferations of credentials for every one of these systems but what is worst we got to a situation where every user has a myriad of devices for accessing these systems (N to 1 user)
  13. 13. Cybercrime Main Causes 3- Forfeiting of personal identification data 3- Forfeiting of personal identification data
  14. 14. Forfeiting of personal identification data • It is easy to remember credentials when they are related to something natural like for example: • • user id: peterjohns password: 01031966, Then due to a “miss-interpretation” of a SOX Guideline on COBIT information security topics (under section Access & Authentication) we interpreted that we had to change user id’s and passwords every 90 days so credentials got something like this: • User Id: Pet*)5$2 Password: Lftrd132^@054 • The problem with those unnatural credentials is that we can not possibly remember them so we are forced to write them on papers or files, same that we can easy loose and when we do our security and our Organization’s security gets compromised. • Security experts from companies like Google, Microsoft, Unisys, CSC, Amazon, just to mention few, agree that changing credentials too often only benefits hackers. • Changing credentials too often is not only inconvenient but also INSECURE! • Most Organizations have the “default” Administrator credentials for their Systems and Hardware what makes hacking very easy even to non-experts.
  15. 15. Cybercrime Main Causes 4- End User malpractice 4- End User malpractice
  16. 16. End user malpractice • Users do share credentials with friends, family and co-workers what compromises their security and eventually the Organization’s they work for. • Users accidentally leave sessions open when they leave their desk for lunch, leave for the day or go for a break (according to Mac -Affee 60% of security breaches happen from within our own organizations). • Users do not encrypt the files where they store their credentials. • Users do forget these “unnatural credentials “ we forced them to have, what creates another problem which is PASSWORD RESETING. • Users trend to access Corporate systems and applications from any device they deem appropriate which we not always can control security (smart phones, tablets, PC’s, Laptops, etc). • Users care less about security and more about usability therefore they forget to run system checks, anti-virus updates, do timely backups, access through controlled and authorized resources, etc.
  17. 17. Cybercrime Main Causes 5- Lack of innovation 5- Lack of innovation
  18. 18. Lack of Innovation “If you keep doing the same things over and over, you will keep getting the same results over and over”….Albert Einstein • Changing credentials every 90 or 60 days is not innovation, it’s just pretending to solve a problem with the wrong tools. • A computer with a digital certificate it’s a passport for whomever get there to do whatever he/she wants, same as granting access to a known device…how do you know that the person behind the device is the rightful user??? • A single point of entry could be a single point of failure (SSO), unless you really have “innovative security”. • A thief who can not brake into a lock (innovative lock) very quick will most likely go still somewhere else, hacker do the same when they find innovative technology that makes their lives miserable simply because most Companies don’t!! • Hackers do innovate by nature….do we??
  19. 19. Ideal Technology • One where the longer we keep the same credentials the more secure the system becomes. • The less complex the credentials the harder the security to be bridged (user adoption is key for security). • Security based on the users themselves (who you are instead of something you have –tokens, certificates, otp’s,etc-) no matter where they are coming from. • Truly identify the person typing the credentials (biometrically). • Increase security without affecting usability (user friendly). • Multiple device capabilities for user authentication (mobility) . • Comply with government regulations (PCI-DSS, SOX, etc).
  20. 20. Ideal Technology (cont) • Non-invasive architecture (SOA) • Configurable security levels based on: application, user, transaction • No need to deploy any type of device, card or even software. • Easy to integrate with existing applications (web services) • Transparent enrollment process • Scalable to millions of users without adding complexity • Extremely accurate (low False Acceptance Rate and low False Rejection Rate).

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