On 19/2/09 14:36, Peter Gutmann wrote:
There are a variety of password cost-estimation surveys floating around that
put the cost of password resets at $100-200 per user per year, depending on
which survey you use (Gartner says so, it must be true).

You can get OTP tokens as little as $5.  Barely anyone uses them.

The two numbers are not comparable. One is the business cost to a company including all the internal, absorbed costs (see Steve's email), while the other is the pricelist of the supplier, without internal user-company costs.

If we compared each method using the other's methodology, passwords would "list" at $0 per reset, and tokens recoveries would "estimate" at $105 to $205, plus shipping.

Can anyone explain why, if the cost of password resets is so high, banks and
the like don't want to spend $5 (plus one-off background infrastructure costs
and whatnot) on a token like this?

It is a typical claim of the smart card & tokens industry that that the bulk unit cost of their product is an "important number". This is possibly because the sellers of such product cannot offer the real project work because they are too product oriented and/or too small. So they have to sell on somthing, and push "the number." It is for this reason that IBM once ruled the world, they bypassed the whole listprice/commodity issue.

As a humourous aside, here's another deceptive sales approach available to the token world, the end of "something we know" security, as we know it :)



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