What is passwordless authentication?
Passwordless authentication is an emerging authentication method that has been gaining popularity over the last few years. In fact, going passwordless is more secure and much more convenient for your users.
What exactly is passwordless authentication?
Passwordless authentication is a method of authentication that verifies a user's identity using an alternative factor other than the traditional password or security question.
Generally, passwordless authentication is used to access an application or an IT system.
How does passwordless authentication work?
The public key is generated upon enrollment in the authentication service while the private key is stored on the user's trusted device and can only be accessed when providing secure proof of identity i.e the the second factor (this one not being a password of course).
Which benefits for going passwordless?
Organizations will find many functional and business benefits when switching to passwordless authentication for their users, whether they are customers, employees or partners.
Improves user experience
The #1 benefit of passwordless authentication is that users no longer need to remember and update long and complex passwords. In fact, they will be able to enjoy a simple and rapid login experience while having a unified access to applications and services.
Passwordless authentication is also known to eliminate risky password management practices and reduce credential theft and other cyberattacks (Phishing, Man in the Middle, Brute force, credential stuffing). It is a common fact that when having to use a password, users often take risky shortcuts like using the same password for all applications, or using easy and thus weak passwords such a “1234”, or even writing them down on a notepad. This explains why compromised account credentials are a leading cause of data breaches.
80% of the largest data leaks are due to weak or compromised passwords.
2019 Data Breach Investigations Report, Verizon
Simplifies IT operations
For IT teams, passwords are a burden in many ways. When enabling passwordless authentication, IT teams no longer need to store, secure, rotate, reset, and manage passwords. In short, it allows them to be more productive, save time and energy.
What are the different types of passwordless authentication?
There are a few commonly-used passwordless authentication methods chosen by organizations such as:
- Biometrics: Fingerprint, voice or facial recognition, or retina scanning
- PIN code: usually 4 to 6 digit PIN code
- SMS and email-based passwordless authentication
- Hardware tokens, or USB devices
Why combine Multifactor authentication (MFA) and passwordless authentication?
Over the years, multifactor authentication (MFA) has become a key element to achieve a Zero Trust environment. “Passwordless MFA” is a way to take advantage of both the benefits of an MFA solution and those of passwordless authentication.
Passwordless MFA often use authentication factors such as the user’s registered trusted device together with a PIN code or a biometric factor.
It should be noted, however, that not all strong authentication solutions (MFA) are equal, as the technologies used are often very different.
Learn more about passwordless authentication inWebo MFA
How to switch to passwordless authentication in 3 lines of code
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