Sunday, October 19, 2008

A new take on passwords - are the old leading the way?

I have received a number of comments about my blog posting, where I criticised the password registration process on the Finerday web site. This week I had a long chat with Jonathan Craymer, the Chairman of GrIDsure Ltd. His company provides the pattern technology used on the site.

I found the story about GrIDsure fascinating and asked Jonathan if he would write some details for me to publish. Here are some of his comments. The complete copy can be downloaded from my Web site.
Dick wonders at the wisdom of using an unfamiliar logging on procedure on something aimed at older users. Specifically we’re talking here about use of GrIDsure password replacement technology to front-end new over 55s networking site Finerday, which has adopted GrIDsure in place of the tried-but-no-longer-trusted password system.

Now normally I’d agree with Dick. However it appears that the early users of Finerday of all ages, have had little problem with this new system. In the first week of the site going "live" (in pre-launch beta form), 2000 people - of which 26% were over 55 - managed to set up their own GrIDsure-based ‘Personal Identification Pattern’ without any apparent problems. Howard Bashford, MD of Finerday confirms they've had no complaints.

So why did we create GrIDsure? Well clearly there was a crying need for a secure means of identifying ourselves online. How on earth did the Internet get invented without such a system? OK yes, there wasn’t e-commerce and so many opportunities for ripping people off online. But now, thanks to the army of fraudsters furtively creeping around in cyberspace from their safe havens, often thousands of miles away, and using malware to record what we type or can see on screen, fixed code security has gone. It’s no longer able to protect us. Worse than that, such codes can be captured by criminals and used to impersonate us.

So in coming up with GrIDsure we believe we’ve created a system which allows us all to strongly authenticate ourselves online (and in many other situations) without the need for additional hardware.

What I’m trying to say here is that yes, a new system takes maybe a few seconds to get used to the concept (literally), but we believe it’s worth it – and of course the next time a user sees it, it’ll be a piece of cake.
Even if you are not interested in the 50-plus market I suggest you read the rest of Jonathan’s comments and visit his web site. I am sure most people believe that there must be something better than our current text based clunky system of password registration.

Maybe GrIDsure has the answer.

Dick Stroud

1 comment:

balloonmoon said...

I've personally tested the Gridsure concept on around 25 people, ages from 19 to 60 years but the number of people who "got it" numbered just ONE - my 27 year old nephew who is an architect. It is NOT as easy to grasp as Mr. Craymer implies. Furthermore, I've been able to crack the Gridsure code consistently and it takes me no more than 2.5 minutes, though I must admit that I do need to "tail" the shopper twice to capture both the Gridsure screens.