Technology is great and it simplifies our lives, however the biggest pain with technology is the fact that we need passwords to gain access. We have so many different systems that we need access to, and all of these have different logins and passwords.
In an on premise network, there is generally a single server known as a domain controller that retains your login and passwords. Because the desktop you log in to is part of this network, the domain controller can identify you on that remote machine and grant you access.
Unfortunately, there is no single Internet ‘domain controller’ in which we can save our credentials, and then use them for the systems we access. Larger providers like Microsoft and Google do have identity solutions that allow you to login with a single password across their services, but that is generally where it stops.
You may have seen the option to log in using Facebook with a number of services.The potential issues with using something like Facebook as a global identifier are firstly, what happens if those details are compromised? And secondly, do you actually know what Facebook does with the login information? Chances are they are using that information to profile you in order to sell you advertising based on these interactions. Many people are not comfortable with their information, let along their identities being controlled by commercial organisations.
Passwords generally need to be changed periodically. Many also have certain complexity requirements, as having simple passwords is almost as bad as having no password. The current password process we use to identify ourselves to disparate systems is the best and cheapest solution we have. This means that you are only as secure as the password you use as an individual, and that if you use a lot of different systems managing all these passwords becomes cumbersome.
Although imperfect, password managers like Lastpass can take a lot of the pain of passwords away for you, especially for web based systems. However, for the time being passwords are the best method of identity and protection we have so guard them well..