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> There are security standards which mandate certain kinds of passwords (complexity) and are silent on asymmetric keys, so you couldn't use keys in those environments.

Every single auditor I've worked with has given a pass when they saw we were using keys instead of passwords. Do you also fail audits because your RSA token is only 10-12 digits?

You could, I suppose, demand users upload their private key (shudder) to the organization so you can check if it's encrypted; this has its own flaws (primarily that you've just taught your users to be giving with their private key), and you still can't enforce passphrase strength well.




Yes -- FISMA. There are both requirements that the implementations be FIPS 140 (although software is ok) and other requirements. I don't think I've ever seen anyone use a securid without a password, so the password complexity requirement is satisfied there. (It wasn't that an auditor failed it, but it was said we'd need to fix this to avoid any issues, so enh)

I don't have a particularly high opinion of most security audit standards, though.




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