Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates predicted the demise of the traditional password because it cannot "meet the challenge" of keeping critical information secure.
Gates, speaking at the RSA Security conference here on Tuesday, said: "There is no doubt that over time, people are going to rely less and less on passwords. People use the same password on different systems, they write them down and they just don't meet the challenge for anything you really want to secure." RSA is working with Microsoft to develop a SecurID technology specifically for Windows. Both companies agreed there is a need to remove the vulnerabilities associated with employees using weak passwords.
SecurID is the best-known two-factor authentication system and is used by many large enterprises. It generates a constantly changing sequence of numbers that a user has to type in alongside their normal password or PIN. Creating a specific system for Windows could mean that rolling out strong authentication across an enterprise will be far easier and cheaper. However, Gates said that Microsoft would not be using the SecurID system internally because it had opted for a smart-card system--with the help of RSA. "Microsoft recently moved to a smart card approach, and a key partner in this was RSA," he said.
News source: C|Net News.com