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2024 World Password Day: Overcoming the Security Challenge of Passwords

May 2, 2024

Annual Reminder

World Password Day, an annual day of celebration falling on the first Thursday of May, is designed to remind the world of the important role passwords play in protecting personal and financial data. Passwords have long been used as a primary authentication method, and many organizations continue to use them to defend against an array of cyber threats.

While passwords can be effective in certain cases, if the past few years have taught us anything, it’s that they are not bulletproof and relying on them can actually pose significant risks. We’ve seen a growing number of breaches with compromised credentials at the core, underlining the vulnerability of password-dependent security systems. And, industry data backs up this trend: According to the FIDO (Fast Identity Online) Alliance, passwords are the root cause of more than 80% of data breaches. If that wasn’t concerning enough, generative AI has exacerbated the password problem, making it easier than ever for hackers to execute believable phishing emails and other credential-based attacks.

Amidst this backdrop, we encourage organizations to view this year’s World Password Day as an opportunity to reassess their password usage and research alternative, more secure approaches to protecting identities and information, such as smartcards and other hardward-based authentication methods.

Why Do Passwords Remain Dominant?

A recent Axiad survey of more than 200 IT professionals found that 93% of organizations are still using passwords at work/for business. Why are organizations still clinging to passwords despite their known vulnerabilities? According to survey respondents, the major hurdles are:Bar graph showing Fear of change (64%) The need to overhaul existing technology (54%) Time constraints (51%) Staffing limitations (25%)

Collectively, these factors contribute to a hesitancy to adopt newer, more secure technologies – but they shouldn’t, as some are misperceptions and others can be easily overcome.

Understanding Change

Fear of change stems from the comfort of familiarity. We’ve been using passwords for years, and they’ve become second nature. So, it’s understandable that organizations might hesitate to shift away from passwords as the de facto way to authenticate. The introduction of keyless cars in the consumer market provides a great example of the psychological hurdle brought about by change. People were so used to locking, unlocking, and starting their cars with a key that the thought of not having one – and instead using a fob or card – was unsettling. It took time for this concept to catch on, but once it did, the benefits became evident quickly.

All of us in the identity security industry need to learn from this and continue emphasizing that, while fear of the unknown is understandable, making the leap to passwordless is critical to achieving cybersecurity and cyber resilience in today’s threat landscape. In other words, with risk comes great reward.


We must also dispel the myth that going passwordless requires a complete “rip and replace” of existing technology. This simply isn’t true. Many options are available, such as certificate-based authentication, which layers on top of existing tools and empowers companies to add passwordless, phishing-resistant capabilities to the infrastructure they already have in place.

Finally, going passwordless will require time and resources – no one can argue that point. But we are willing to bet the investment won’t be as taxing as you may think. Some passwordless solutions can be implemented quickly and seamlessly – and all will enhance your security posture, providing an immediate return on your investment. This is especially true when you consider the average cost of a data breach lands at $4.45 million, according to IBM’s 2023 Cost of a Data Breach Report. Passwordless solutions will be far more cost effective, and they’ll also spare your organization from other detrimental consequences associated with data breaches, including a loss of customers and a damaged reputation.

Passwordless is the Future

Overcoming these hurdles and making the decision to go passwordless is a step in the right direction, but then organizations need to make sure they are selecting true passwordless solutions. Many vendors tout “passwordless” authentication solutions, and while they might hide the password or other shared secret from the end user for a better experience, they still use a shared secret behind-the-scenes, making it susceptible to attack.

At Axiad, we believe the only true way to stay secure is with what we like to call “no password passwordless” solutions – because only these products provide authentication without requiring a password or other shared human secret. If there’s no password or shared secret to steal, then phishing and other credentials-based attacks cannot be successful.

We address the need for true passwordless with our Axiad Cloud platform. This robust system not only mitigates the weaknesses inherent in password-based systems, but also offers a turnkey solution for organizations, including enterprises and public sector entities, looking to adopt a passwordless approach.

At a high level, Axiad Cloud connects people and machines to data and applications from anywhere – without business disruption – in an integrated, systematic fashion. It supports a broad range of credentials, including YubiKeys, smart cards, TPM, and biometrics, enabling organizations to move beyond passwords and enhance their security postures. And, it offers phishing-resistant multi-factor authentication (MFA) and PKI as a service.

Most importantly, Axiad Cloud streamlines and simplifies the transition to a passwordless future, alleviating the fear of change as well as the logistical challenges identified in the aforementioned survey.

Act Today for a More Secure Tomorrow

While passwords remain a staple in cybersecurity strategies for many, the future clearly points toward passwordless solutions. This World Password Day serves as a critical reminder of the urgent need for organizations to evolve and adopt more secure, efficient authentication methods. Axiad’s innovations in this space represent a promising path forward, potentially redefining security standards and safeguarding against the increasing cyber threats in today’s digital landscape.

There’s no excuse to delay another day. To learn more about how you can begin your passwordless journey, request a demo or contact us today.

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