Our everyday lives are protected by passwords on many levels. Passwords protect our personal information, finances and private communications. However, insecure practices in the use of passwords lead to countless security breaches and financial losses every year. The University of Jyväskylä’s SAFE Project is developing an innovation to solve the security challenges associated with passwords.
Password management is crucial not only for the security of everyday users, but also for the security of organizations. The military, the governments, power grids, railway networks and air traffic control also need passwords to maintain their security.
The problem, however, is that many users often choose convenience over security when choosing and managing their passwords.
“Users have a huge number of accounts and too often they choose either weak passwords or reuse old familiar passwords. That is why we need a radical new innovation to address the current security problems with passwords”, says project leader Assistant Professor Naomi Woods.
Alternative solutions for password and authentication problems have been developed in the past. They have, however, failed to replace passwords due to their own security issues and the fact that users don’t either trust them or often find them difficult to use.
“The SAFE Project is developing an authentication method (SAFE Solution) that not only works across all operating systems, services and devices but is also easy to use”, Woods describes the project.
Substantial funding from Business Finland to commercialize a cyber security innovation
Naomi Woods’ and University of Jyväskylä’s Seamless Authentication for Everyone (SAFE) Project has raised a total of just over € 920.000 in funding. The project recently received € 628.000 Research to Business from Business Finland, which is aimed for transforming scientific research into new businesses.
Naomi Woods hopes that with the help from the SAFE Solution financial losses associated with passwords will become just a thing of the past.
“Developing a secure and user-friendly authentication method would take us
towards a more secure future. The dream would be that the SAFE Solution would eventually be used worldwide by everyone, regardless of operating system or device.”
The funding allows the project team to develop and start preparing the SAFE Solution for commercialization.