Do you rely on several online services and/or applications to work daily?
Then you know how dizzying and bothersome is it to memorize and frequently change your passwords. I feel you… And don’t worry, because this might change soon.
Keep reading and learn about Passwordless Authentication, an effective way to get rid of passwords. And more importantly, get rid of bad actors who want to take advantage of repeating, weak passwords (even password managers) to steal confidential data.
What is Passwordless Technology?
According to the Secret Security Wiki, passwordless authentication is “any method of verifying the identity of a user that does not require the user to provide a password.”
In short words, this is gaining access to an application or IT system without entering your password or answering the old-fashioned security questions.
How do you achieve this? Well, it’s not a product or doesn’t work like MFA (multi-factor authentication) or SSO (single sign-on) technologies. Instead, it’s about reducing or eliminating the use of passwords and replacing them with other security measures.
Passwordless authentication can be done in many ways. Here are a few of them and several pros and cons of each to understand them best.
|Knowledge Factors: Something you know
|Possession Factors: Something you have
|Inherent Factors: Something you are
|PIN + KBA
|Email, RSA, FIDO
|Facial Recognition + Fingerprint Scan
|Hard to steal remotely
|No need to recall
|Can be stolen or forgotten
|Hard to recover if lost or broken
As you can see in the table above, there are plenty of ways to minimize well-known usability issues and security risks with passwordless authentication. This is because it focuses on attributes of a user’s identity and not on credentials fixed within the systems.
Yes, all of it sounds cool but one thing is it to be a convenience and another, a necessity.
Well, how do you know passwordless is the future of authentication?
The reality is, that passwords are easy to guess, therefore, to steal. The biggest companies in the world (Apple, Google, and Microsoft) know this very well. That’s why they’ve decided to “eliminate passphrases” by making use of FIDO Alliance and W3C-developed standards
There are reasons behind this, covered with a ton of data. For example, the 2021 Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report found that “61% of breaches in the past year were possible through unauthorized credentials (passwords)”, and “it’s estimated that the average user manages over 200 passwords” – This number could double next year, by 2023.
Besides this, after seeing many different alternatives, you might be asking if passwordless authentication is completely safe and even possible for Small-sized and Mid-sized businesses?
To be honest, it depends on what your definition of safe is. Indeed, it’s harder to crack and less prone to cyberattacks, but it’s not 100% unhackable. But it’s needed a higher level of hacking sophistication and experience to infiltrate a passwordless system.
How To Go Passwordless
Are you now sure that Passwordless Authentication is for you?
Given the number of options available, you may be asking yourself: how to start with passwordless authentication in 2022 and how to get rid of passwords, right?
Well, you should audit the security, usability, and cost of each solution, and also identify which one fits your business’ needs.
To do this, you only need to follow a 3-steps process:
1) Pick Mode:
Have you checked all of the options enlisted?
Choose your preferred authentication factors and study the possibility and use multiple. We don’t recommend relying on a single factor, regardless of how safe each is.
2) Buy IoT Hardware / IoT Software:
Some modes (as the biometric-based) will require you to buy and install equipment, while mobile OTPs or “magic links” only require software.
3) Educate yourself and your employees about IoT security:
By the time you get to the third step, you might know a bit about the passwordless authentication methods you can and will adapt to your business system. But this doesn’t mean your workforce is accustomed as well.
Start by registering everyone (scanning your employees’ faces or fingerprints, if that’s the method you chose), with the help of your inner or outsourced IT expert team, as MyITGuy is.
We know getting rid of passwords and implementing in-house passwordless authentication it’s complicated, not even mentioning time-consuming. This is why we’ve decided to write and share this guide, as well as offer both our consultation and installation services.
This won’t only speed up the process, but also reduce maintenance costs, as well as your worries.