Passwords Must Be Fast and Secure


Keiron Dalton explains how balancing security and convenience is key to pleasing the modern customer.

Twitter recently announced the launch of its new identity service Digits, a password-free log-in system for mobile applications targeted at developers looking to create a simpler log-in system for mobile applications.

As most people these days prefer to access applications such as social media sites on their mobile phone, it is clear to see why Digits could prove to be a useful tool.

For example, Twitter users want to be able to share their experiences while they’re out and about, so tweeting through a mobile device is the best way for them to share their thoughts quickly.

People won’t have to waste time remembering passwords and logging in

Speed is where I expect the benefits of the Digits system to be seen, since it eliminates the issue of people wasting time having to remember which password is needed to log them in to each application, while also offering the speed and capabilities that people want. There is also the added benefit of people being able to protect themselves from hackers finding out their passwords.

While this new system seems like the logical next step in accessing applications remotely, I expect that people will prove to be hesitant to use it.

The issue that needs to be addressed by Twitter, especially when trying to ease customers’ concerns, is security.

Questions will be raised about how secure the system is

Questions will be raised about how secure the system is; is it more single-factor rather than multi-factor authentication? Does it not have additional multiple layers of security beyond the delivery of a one-time password via SMS?

This threat is highlighted by SIM Swap fraud, which continues to be a concern in the banking sector. SIM Swap occurs when someone unlawfully obtains a duplicate SIM card for a mobile number, fundamentally redirecting communications to the fraudster. So if someone was able to divert a person’s text messages and calls to another mobile, this could pose a threat to the security of that user’s mobile applications.

The key issue is the balance between convenience and security

Keiron Dalton

Keiron Dalton

The key issue that faces not just Twitter, but all mobile services, is trying to perfect the balance of offering users a quick and convenient solution, while also providing them with a secure platform.

Twitter has taken a big step with Digits and it is one that could prove to be very successful as users continue to become more mobile. However, it is important to remember that security and convenience do not have to be conflicting interests – and that being able to balance the two can provide customers with all the usability and safety that they need.

With thanks to Keiron Dalton at Aspect Software

Published On: 5th Nov 2014 - Last modified: 22nd Mar 2017
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