Frank Abagnale. PHOTO: Cybercrime Magazine.

Frank Abagnale Wants To Rid Society Of Its Faulty Login System

Cut your fraud losses by going passwordless

Amanda Glassner

Northport, N.Y. – Mar. 17, 2021

“Passwords are for treehouses,” says Frank Abagnale, whose fascinating life served as the inspiration for Steven Spielberg’s 2002 film, Catch Me If You Can, starring Leonardo DiCaprio as Abagnale and Tom Hanks as the FBI agent fast on his heels.

For the past 40 years, Abagnale, a respected authority on forgery, embezzlement, and secure documents, has aided some of the world’s largest organizations with their cybersecurity, including the FBI.

With Face ID, voice verification, fingerprint scans and other biometrics solutions on the market, you’d think old-fashioned passwords aren’t cutting it anymore. But they’re still in widespread use at businesses of all sizes globally.

Abagnale insists that needs to change – now. It’s why he’s an advisor to Trusona, a company who’s leading the charge to go passwordless.

“I’m totally amazed by how fraud is getting bigger and bigger every year,” Abagnale recently told us. He and Ori Eisen, founder and CEO at Trusona, teamed up to rid society of its faulty login system.

“There’s no end to what [adversaries] can do,” warns Eisen.

To put it in perspective, in 2020, the U.S. government paid $630 billion to 50 states for unemployment insurance — so far, $63 billion of that has been linked to fraud, and it’s expected to reach $100 billion by the end of the year.

“If you don’t do anything to prevent crime, you’re causing crime,” Abagnale declared.

Eisen’s technology makes going passwordless look so easy that there’s no valid reason to avoid it. As proof, he gives the world’s fastest cybersecurity demo which clocks in at around seven seconds.

“If you give customers the option to log in without passwords, 70 percent of them will go to that immediately,” said Eisen. “[And after trying it once], 94 percent of people stick with it.”

“It’s clear the planet will be passwordless one day and it’s just a matter of time,” according to Steve Morgan, founder of Cybersecurity Ventures.

Way too many large organizations suffer from a fear of change, and they’re stuck in the dark ages when it comes to authentication.

Microsoft is a pioneer, and an example, for a passwordless enterprise.

About 91 percent of our users don’t enter a password, whether it’s on a Mac or a PC,” said Bret Arsenault, corporate vice president and CISO at Microsoft, in an interview with Cybercrime Magazine. “We get to use all the biometric sensors to actually enable something that is a better user experience and has more security, which is the panacea for any CISO.”

Microsoft Ventures led a $10 million funding round for Trusona in 2017.

“If you make it easy to steal from you, chances are, someone will,” cautions Abagnale.

Perhaps it’s time to give your passwords the finger.

Amanda Glassner is a staff writer and reporter at Cybercrime Magazine.

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