Seeing Is Believing in Security

    With the advent of the holiday shopping season, interest in all things related to online security starts to rise.

    But when it comes to security, the real challenge has as much to do with the way people behave as it is the underlying technology. So with that issue in mind, the folks at Confident Technologies have come up with a way that leverages images to enhance traditional password security.

    The Confident ImageShield is a service that allows companies to present users with a series of images that uniquely corresponds to them. The images are hosted and managed as a cloud computing service by Confident Technologies in order to minimize the management and deployment complexity of such an approach.

    Bill Goldbach, executive vice president for Confident Technologies, says the Confident ImageShield isn’t meant to replace passwords so much as to add another layer of security because passwords are so easily compromised.

    Of course, the concept of asking users to identify images to help assure their identity has been around for a while. But Confident Technologies is trying to take the idea to another level by using a series of images to create what amounts to a multi-factor authentication system because hackers and the botnets they create can’t mimic the simple act of an end user choosing to remember a series of images that are personal to them.

    Naturally, it may take a while for users to get use to this idea. And not everything is going to be worth adding another layer of security. But in instances where you need to be sure that the person on the other end of the Web is who they claim to be, an image-based approach to authentication could definitely add a little more peace of mind to the transaction.

    Mike Vizard
    Mike Vizard
    Michael Vizard is a seasoned IT journalist, with nearly 30 years of experience writing and editing about enterprise IT issues. He is a contributor to publications including Programmableweb, IT Business Edge, CIOinsight and UBM Tech. He formerly was editorial director for Ziff-Davis Enterprise, where he launched the company’s custom content division, and has also served as editor in chief for CRN and InfoWorld. He also has held editorial positions at PC Week, Computerworld and Digital Review.

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