The White House cybersecurity coordinator, Michael Daniel, sat down with The Christian Science Monitor and the Center for National Policy for a recent event “Building a Cybersecurity Roadmap: Developing America’s Edge” in order to discuss, among other things, cybersecurity issues facing the United States and…selfies?

The Christian Science Monitor spoke with the “cyber czar” about the need for greater cybersecurity manpower, staying a step ahead of criminal hackers, and how the government can stay competitive against the likes of Facebook, Google, and Twitter.

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During the discussion, Daniel talked about the idea of replacing passwords with more secure authentication methods. “Frankly, I would love to kill the password as the primary security method, because it’s terrible.”

Daniel suggested replacing passwords with alternative methods such as biometrics – like fingerprint scanners – or even “selfies.” selfie

A possible alternative to authenticating on social networks

He also discussed emerging threats and challenges related to the Internet of Things, how technology should adapt to human behavior, and how organizations should improve on their use of encryption.

While the White House cybersecurity coordinator (and even the FBI) may think that the use of facial recognition algorithms and software are enough to prove or authenticate that a user is “who they say they are”, I am still not convinced that the technology is far along enough to completely do away with the password.

Should selfies replace passwords as our primary authentication method? Is technology ready to allow users to take a picture to gain access to private information? Who would be responsible if the chosen technology gets it wrong? Feel free to discuss in the comments below!

By Tracy Adams | @1socialengineer

Tracy AdamsBio: Tracy has spent the last nearly three years working for the U.S. Treasury’s Fiscal Service division on the IT security team supporting two systems. She supports two Information System Security Officers (ISSOs) to maintain each system’s cyber security policy compliance. Ms. Adams works as the Risk Manager for one system where she is responsible for all FISMA activities and addressing POA&M items from security assessments. She maintains the Project plan, leads security tasks and activities, as well as large, complex deliverables for her government clients. She managed and participated in multiple security assessment which included maintaining multiple teams to prepare, review, close out and address all system security vulnerabilities.

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