Just after the completion of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Star Trek: Voyager at the turn of the century, the franchise creators went a different direction with their next Star Trek installment early 2000’s, by going back to an old favorite, the Enterprise! This time though, it takes place before the original Star Trek from the 1960’s in the form of a prequel as space travel was just getting underway from Earth.
As Enterprise gets under way in the early stages of exploring the Alpha Quadrant and what would become very familiar species in other Star Trek franchises, this crew gets down to the basics of exploration first. This mirrors the early days of passwords, when technology advanced and as a society, we felt the need to protect our most valuable assets. That carried over into the digital world. And geez was it rough early on. “What was my password again? I know I wrote it down somewhere,” was a very commonplace thing to hear from folks of a certain age as lives transformed into the digital age.
Along with the advancement into a more digital world, came more threats from near and far. Hackers wanted to breach security measures and gain access to your personal information for both individual consumers as well as companies. A little over a decade ago, password development advanced to include the now widely used two-factor authentication (2FA) for many users trying to gain access to information on mobile and web applications. Further advancements have helped to keep hackers at bay at times, but breaches have continued to occur at an alarming rate.
Like passwords, Enterprise adapted when the creators of the show pivoted from a simplistic first two seasons with the vessel and crew primarily scouting out new worlds and species to a more action packed, and drama filled latter two seasons that included saving Earth from a newly introduced species determined to destroy them. Over the years, passwords have also shifted, from simplistic or basic to advanced in order to maintain protection as technology and hacker methodologies have improved.
What is next in the realm of passwords? That has been the subject of much debate. You can go all the way back nearly 20 years ago to RSA Conference 2004 when Bill Gates predicted the death of passwords. Fast forward to autumn 2021 and Microsoft began taking steps to finally kill the password. In parallel, is Apple’s passkey the answer? The conversation has certainly advanced to the point where Apple, Google and Microsoft are all looking to kill passwords and phishing in one stroke. Will it work? Time will tell. But earlier this month, an attack on Gmail bypassed passwords and 2FA to read emails, so it’s clearly a work in progress still.
Check out our content surrounding passwordless and password management topics here.
Note: This is part five of a seven-part series looking at the primary Star Trek franchise television series:
Part 1: To Boldly Go Where No One (or No Ransomware) Has Gone Before
Part 2: Star Trek: TNG Foreshadows Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
Part 3: Stark Trek: DS9 Training and Awareness in a Remote Outpost
Part 4: Supply Chain Issues Abound Across the Galaxy in Star Trek: Voyager