The need to move away from the use of passwords as a primary mode of authentication and security remains one of the most important steps that government and private sector organizations can take to improve security and move toward zero trust security, according to Kenny Harrison, Division Chief of the Telecommunications Office at the U.S. Census Bureau.

Harrison explained the importance of taking that step at an August 17 event organized by FCW and focused on identity, credential, and access management (ICAM).

“We really want to move beyond the use of passwords, in my opinion,” Harrison said. “I also believe that it offers us the flexibility to use various authentication methods.”

“We talk about smart card biometrics, we want to move to those type of capabilities to strengthen our security and make it easy because we don’t want people writing those passwords down,” he said.

Harrison emphasized that moving away from traditional passwords will help facilitate zero trust security migrations that that many government agencies are working on, along with the broader need for more advanced authentication technologies.

“Advanced authentications are things that government organizations have been advancing in …  leveraging tamper-resistant multifactor authentications,” Harrison said. “I know that a lot of companies have been compromised with their multifactor authentication solutions, and so we want to get to point to where we are leveraging tamper-resistant multifactor,” he said.

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Jose Rascon
Jose Rascon
Jose Rascon is a MeriTalk Staff Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.