The Biometrics Myth
by Steve Bale - CEO ArmourSoft - Monday, 19 January 2004.
The benefits, then, can be summarised:
  • ease of use (a single pass-phrase to remember) whilst enhancing domain and application security via a full static password management process.
  • the ability to generate complex dynamic pass-phrases that are used to log into the computer, network and applications. Not having to remember these dynamic pass-phrases enhances security whilst not requiring end user involvement.
  • easy to deploy, to use and to manage, without the need to introduce back-end processing or overheads.
  • considerable reduction in helpdesk incidents for password resets due to single pass-phrase implementation (typically 60% of all helpdesk incidents are password related).
How safe is vault architecture?

The answer is simple; as safe as you want it, limited only by how much you are willing to spend. In its simplest form, the user’s vault could be a pin-protected encrypted file that sits locally on the client, or on a network drive. The next stage is to store vaults off-line, in the form of USB memory sticks. The advantage of this approach is obvious should the computer system or laptop be stolen. Protection can be ratcheted up still further by keeping vaults in smart media, such as USB crypto tokens or crypto smart cards.

In summary, an encrypted vault system can bring significant benefits to an organisation in terms of optimisation and enforcement of strong static password processes and change regimes, delivered without impacting the user. In fact the user migrates from having to remember and manage multiple passwords to both PC /domain and application to having to remember just a single pin-phrase. The benefits of biometrics at one tenth of the cost.



Armoursoft Ltd. are exhibiting on Stand 680 at Infosecurity Europe 2004 which is Europe's number one IT Security Exhibition. Now in its 9th year, the show features Europe's most comprehensive FREE education programme, and over 200 exhibitors at the Grand Hall at Olympia from 27th to the 29th April 2004.

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