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What Is Passwordless Authentication? The future of authentication and it’s Benefit

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“ There’s no denying that passwordless is a hot topic. And rightly so, no one likes passwords users have too many to remember and manage, and IT admins spend a lot of time on password related help desk tickets and password resets. Moreover, compromised passwords are still the leading cause of breach. ”
Passwordless authentication is a form of authorization in which a user can log into a online account without entering and remembering a password. Instead, they need to leverage different choices, as an example, employing a magic link that is provided in an email or SMS, fingerprint, or a token. More recently, the FIDO2 Web Authentication (WebAuthn) has emerged as a replacement and more reliable way of authenticating one’s identity online. But with passwordless authentication, you may use one of the following authentication factors :
  • A one-time password (OTP)
  • Magic links
  • Hardware that produces system-generated PINs or codes
  • Biometrics
  • FIDO2 Web Authentication (WebAuthn)
  • Cryptographic digital certificates
And there are many other ways as well, With that said, let’s now take a more in-depth look at this authentication standard. 
Using this technique of security makes perfect sense in today’s cyber world as a result of passwords are extremely dangerous. Not only are they easy to guess, however people consistently reuse their passwords. In fact, quite 80% of breaches involve weak or stolen credentials, and quite 75% of employee reuse their passwords.
In addition, usernames and passwords unlock access to corporate systems, data, and Intellectual Property (IP). And as a result, credentials are a main target of cyber criminals as a result of, they don’t provide strong security for organizations attempting to guard their confidential data.
While the necessity for extra security measures is quite clear, our recent survey of technology leaders found that several organizations are not yet using passwordless authentication flows.

The Promise of Passwordless Authentication

As far as passwordless authentication goes, the bottom line, which is to eliminate the problem of using insecure password, By implementing passwordless authentication, developers are able to do a better level of visibility over identity and access management. After all, if there are not any passwords, then there is nothing to reuse, share or phish.
Nonetheless, the amount of security provided by this form of authorization is usually challenged since using an option like email to relay a code/ link may be unreliable because it can be compromised. whereas this can be a plausible concern, a hacked email could also be used to “reset” a password.

3 Key Considerations For Passwordless Authentication

In this Article, let’s talk about some key considerations while adopting passwordless:

        1. Passwordless Is a Journey

As much as we would like it, passwords won’t disappear overnight. Modern IT environments are complicated and replacing each authentication use case with passwordless technology will need a lot of planning and has to be a phased approach.
Here are some important questions to ask:
  • which authentication use case should to be targeted initial while rolling out passwordless authentication?
  • In order to make sure a smooth rollout, will you have the choice to enable passwordless authentication for a set of users before increasing to the complete workforce?
  • In cases wherever passwordless authentication might not be a good fit yet – either due to technological or budget limitations – will there be a fallback to a different secure authentication mechanism?

        2. Providing resistance Usability

Passwordless authentication is promising technology, however promising doesn’t automatically mean usable. One of the motivations for passwordless is saving IT groups time responding to password-related help desk tickets. however if not implemented thoughtfully, passwordless authentication could lead to other user issues for the IT team.
Organizations should to be considering the following:
  • Today, with passwords, users are well aware of the self service password recovery method. will there be a seamless recovery method offered just in case passwordless does not work, as an example, due to lost or stolen devices?
  • Will passwordless work for users with multiple devices, as well as for users with shared devices?
  • Will the passwordless application be ready to offer the same user experience across all authentication use cases, passwordless or not?

        3. Passwordless Authentication Alone is not Enough

Perhaps most importantly, customers should be aware of the security tradeoffs they may face when leveraging a passwordless authentication resolution that does not provide identical strong functionality in terms of other authentication use cases.
The focus should always stay on increasing trust in authentication whereas at the same time reducing authentication friction and leveraging all use cases that can get you there.

The Pros and Cons of Passwordless Authentication

Pros of Passwordless Authentication are as follows: 
  1. Passwordless Authentication Improves User Experience
  2. You Don’t Need to Worry About Password Theft
  3. Passwordless Authentication Solutions Protect Against Brute-Force Attacks
  4. Passwordless Authentication Strengthens Your Organization’s Cyber Security Posture
  5. Passwordless Security Helps to Reduce Cost in Long Run
  6. Reduces Administration Overhead
Cons of Passwordless Authentication are as follows: 
  1. Can’t Protect Users in the Event of Device Theft or SIM Swapping
  2. Biometrics Aren’t effective or Foolproof
  3. Users Are Hesitant About Trusting Passwordless Technology
  4. Cost of Implementation Can Be High (Depending on the Solution)
  5. Passwordless Authentication Doesn’t Protect Against Certain Types of Malware
  6. Harder to troubleshoot

Wrapping Up on Passwordless Authentication

Passwordless technology provides a strong private key to organizations, websites that offers online services, and also the users devices. Users do not need to memorize a large number of passwords or hit ” forgot password ” numerous times and reset them.
Passwordless authentication frees up the IT department’s time as they no longer require setting password policies and adjust to password storage laws and rules. They do not need to be constantly alert to notice and stop password leaks.

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