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January 30, 2020

Online Identity Management: How Did We Get Here and What's Next?

Johannes Jaskolski, ZenKey General Manager and Bill Crean, ZenKey Product Manager

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When the first computer passwords were used at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1961, nobody could have foreseen the wealth of information trapped behind eight or more characters (with at least one special character, one numeral and one capitalized letter) more than 50 years later.

Think about how much of your life sits behind different passwords. Your memories. Your money. Your family. Your work. Your life, really. Then think about how hackers working for an organized crime group or an enemy nation-state could benefit from knowing that information.

The mobile economy has grown at a rapid pace, increasingly fueled by new functionalities. To facilitate adoption of internet-based technologies, innovators created functionality that was ”so easy a caveman could do it.” In the past decade, the ability of an online business to verify the identities of its customers has become critical to maintaining the trust and security of the mobile ecosystem. So it is that two-factor authentication (2FA) has become the de-facto digital tool for authenticating users of apps and online services.

Consider the advent of two-factor authentication. In the mid-2000s, the birth of the mobile phone age enabled 2FA to become an incredibly easy-to-use, valuable tool for businesses and consumers alike to create another layer of security using just an extra step with SMS text. Email and SMS are popular tools for communication for obvious reasons. They’re ubiquitous, easy to use and lightning-quick. Unfortunately, email phishing and SMS ”smishing” are disturbingly common and effective, and frequently the user must exit the app they’re trying to access to retrieve a PIN.

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So here we are today, still primarily dependent on the password to secure our lives. But now enter ZenKey, which brings purpose-built security technologies to the mobile economy that will eclipse passwords and 2FA as security keys to an online account.

It’s time for a better way to secure online identities. ZenKey aims to address those security threats. By focusing on network-based and multi-factor authentication methods, not only does ZenKey create additional security measures for businesses and their customers, it can do so with a simple integration process for businesses and ease of use for the end users.

ZenKey is designed to use network and user information, with user consent, to help identify the device and the user. It provides a quick, simple way for you to register for and login to websites and apps without usernames and passwords.

If you’re interested in joining our developer community, we invite you to join us here. Send us your thoughts and ideas via our website.

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