IBM states that the most common initial attack vector is compromised credentials. They account for 20% of all breaches and cost an average of $4.37 million. Unsurprisingly, businesses of all sizes are reconsidering their cybersecurity strategy. Passwordless authentication is one of the most popular solutions to this difficult problem. Attempting to replicate possessive or biometric factors is much more difficult than guessing passwords people use repeatedly. Cyberattackers face a much steeper hill to climb with no credentials to steal.
With so much risk inherent in traditional passwords, why have only some companies enthusiastically embraced passwordless authentication? Saying you want to use passwordless authentication and doing it are two very different things. This article discusses several realistic passwordless authentication challenges and their benefits in terms of security, convenience, and overall user experience.
Are passwordless logins the way of the future?
Let us begin by answering the obvious question. Passwordless logins are exactly what they sound like logins that don’t require passwords. But how exactly does this work? Passwordless logins use authentication mechanisms to avoid entering a password to log into a service or app. Passwordless systems accomplish this by utilizing passkeys, login tokens sent via email, or even phone pop-ups that allow you to control access to your accounts.
If you have 2FA enabled on your Google account, you’ve already seen this when you get a pop-up on your phone asking you to confirm or deny whether it’s you trying to access your account. Tap “Yes,” and you’ll be admitted. Tap “No,” and anyone trying to log in will be denied.
The phone pop-up is the passwordless part of that. Of course, your Google account still requires a password during the initial login stage. That will not be the case in the long run. Instead, you can use a physical hardware key or receive an email containing a link to the necessary access token.
How Do Businesses Benefit from Passwordless Login?
Passwordless Login simplifies your life by eliminating the need to remember multiple passwords. Can you recall which accounts each password belongs to? How often do you reuse the same password because you can’t have a different, strong, easy-to-remember password for each account? Passwordless Login removes frustration from the equation, resulting in a better customer experience.
The Impact of Password-Free Logins
The time required to add passwordless logins to legacy apps will have the greatest impact on the industry. Consider this: Password-based logins will eventually become obsolete. When this occurs, every application must be retooled to support passwordless authentication. That may be difficult for some businesses. This is especially true if a legacy app is not designed to accommodate new technologies. As much as we’d like to believe that every application in use today can make such a transition, many businesses (all over the world) rely on outdated technology.
That will take significant time and effort, especially if an application must be completely rebuilt from the ground up to meet the more modern (secure) authentication method. Of course, it’s not just a matter of time. As you transition your applications and services, you must be prepared to address any issues. Only some users will be comfortable making the switch, and your company may be responsible for assisting those customers, clients, and consumers.
Do you have the personnel and infrastructure to handle a flood of support requests? And that is assuming everything goes as planned. You can be certain that such a significant change in your technology will cause problems. Even if you spend considerable time debugging the new features (or completely new applications), it will break. When this happens, you must be prepared to not only fix the problem but also assist the panicked customers who cannot access their accounts. Along the same lines, users will be skeptical of this new technology.
Customers may question the legitimacy of what you’ve done to your apps and/or services based solely on the name. Passwordless authentication may appear insecure to the average user, and you may need to convince them that it is the future of authentication and is far more secure than traditional methods.
The Password-Free Future
Passwordless authentication lowers security costs, necessitates less support, and improves your overall cybersecurity profile. The enhanced user experience and additional security layer will influence how businesses choose to protect their data for years to come.
Passwordless access is one of many digital transformation (DX) strategies for lowering security costs while improving user-friendliness and security. Businesses benefit greatly from reducing their reliance on knowledge-based credentials. Passwordless security is becoming easier to integrate into your IT model as technology advances.
Taking the first steps toward true passwordless authentication is critical to securing your data and remaining competitive in your industry. There has never been a better time to abandon passwords.
However, there are some challenges in implementing a passwordless system. Working with a company that is on the cutting edge of authentication and security innovations will make your passwordless journey seamless, allowing you to focus on your more secure and user-friendly approach to safe authentication.