I see that some organizations practice dual control password especially when it comes to critical system logins, etc. Is it feasible to implement such policy considering certain trade off such as increased resolve time for critical production issue and increased complexity in password management?

2 Answers 2


Well, by definition if some organisations are doing it, it must be feasible!

More generally, all security controls have a cost and when you select a control the cost must be taken into account. Is it worth it? If so, implement it. If not, don't.

Dual password control is a very powerful and effective control against loss of integrity; but as you point out it comes with a high cost in terms of systems complexity.

That's why it's pretty rare to see it used, but if the integrity of the data is important enough, that cost is worth paying. The classic example of dual control is the launch controls for a nuclear missile. If the possible impact of a failure includes the end of the world, it's hard to argue that the controls cost too much!

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    Agree. The obvious quality is the collusion threshold. It is much easier to attack something alone, instead of getting everyone else with you. Nov 8, 2012 at 13:34

Every step, which slows down an attacker could be a potential benefit to a critical system - until the additional security layers' implementation is not weak. Weak additions means that an attacker will reveal the vulnerability, so he/she don't have to fight against two- or more-factor authentication system.

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