Information security: passwords, authentication and autocomplete

Bank of England's plans leaked in autocomplete incident; Millennials and DNA passwords.

The Bank of England had been discussing the potential implications of the UK withdrawing from the EU ('Brexit').  This was a sensible precaution - after winning the recent election, the UK's PM is committed to giving the UK's electorate an opportunity to vote on the UK's continued membership of the EU.

However, the Bank's plans have been leaked to The Guardian newspaper in what has now been revealed as an 'autocomplete error'.   The Bank of England has now banned its employees from using autocomplete and is insisting they type out all email addresses in full.

Account authentication has been in the news too.  A UK company has been outlining the case for an emoji passcode to replace the four-digit number currently used as account PINs.  They state that over 60% of millennials regularly communicate using only emojis (insert raised eyebrow emoji!).

Snapchat has set out to improve its security by establishing two-stage authentication.  Its new measures also allow users to forget devices, should you replace a device – or have it stolen.

Other versions of two-stage authentication may feature a combination of codes and biometric data. 

The challenge for many businesses is finding a balance between making data as safe as possible and not putting up barriers to use.  According to a US research report, a quarter of consumers of financial services would be willing to share their DNA information with their financial institutions for use in authentication. Two thirds of those who responded said they believed two-factor authentication which featured an element of biometric information, would make their data more secure.

ITProPortal; London Loves Business; ITProPortal; Daily Telegraph; Snapchat