The traditional password isn't as secure as you think. Unfortunately, the best passwords are long, complicated, and hard to remember. So most people (your employees included) usually go with easy phrases -- the kind that take hackers mere minutes to crack.

There's a better way to secure sensitive data. Here are three start-ups working on high-tech, and highly secure, alternatives to the traditional password.

Toronto-based Bionym has developed the Nymi, a wristband with two electrodes that read your heart’s unique -- and difficult to copy -- electrocardiogram signal. You can use the band to unlock computers, tablets, phones, and other smart devices. Available in early 2014 for $99.

The three twentysomethings behind San Francisco-based Clef wanted to develop a more secure way to log in to a website. They came up with Clef Wave, a free app that generates a unique image on your iOS or Android smartphone.

You point your phone at your webcam, which reads the image. The image cannot be stolen, because it stays on your screen for only a few seconds. About 250 websites, including some WordPress sites, have enabled the service.

Illiri is a New York City start-up that’s trying to replace the password with audio waves. The app emits a unique sound on your smartphone that can be used to unlock another device, log you in to a website, or process a payment.

The sound lasts for 10 seconds and can be heard within 1 foot of your device. For now, it’s available only in a free business-card app called CardXChange for iOS and Android.