The world beyond passwords

The world beyond passwords

James Sowry September 24, 2019 Improvement, Security

A new era of access account authentication is evolving, and IT enterprises around the world will one day consider password authentication as something antique.

Managing user passwords is a big challenge for businesses worldwide with the cost now eclipsing the benefits of using passwords which are increasingly becoming easier to detect. Even the strongest of passwords are easily phishable, paving the way for passwordless authentication systems becoming a necessity for every enterprise with a computer network.  

Why eliminate passwords?

According to the Verizon 2019 data breach investigation report, 51% of hacking-related breaches leveraged either stolen or weak passwords.

Password authentication has always been challenging as IT enterprise systems continue to evolve. For instance, many employees will reuse passwords at their workplaces, and they can be stolen or found through untrusted third parties or insecure websites.  Moreover, organisations find it hard to distinguish between an account user and a hacker if a breach occurs. This consequently presents the organization with potentially significant financial loss and a violation of business reputation.  

Preparing your organization to eliminate passwords

If you’re the person at your company who is interested in championing digital security, you already know that deploying a company wide strategy for effectively manage passwords and security is not a walk in the park. The future will be to eliminate the use of passwords, instead relying on other factors to authenticate users.

At its core, the basic principle for passwordless authentication is to eradicate the use of passwords and consequently eliminate their value and usage by cybercriminals. However, moving forward with this strategy requires the adoption of a new approach and in particular FIDO authentication.

FIDO (Fast IDentity Online) was formed in 2013 as an alliance of leading technology companies with a common objective - to reduce the worlds over reliance on passwords as a method for signing in. Based on its free and open standards from the FIDO alliance, the next version FIDO2, will aim to provide users with a seamless, secure and passwordless experience across Azure AD connected servers, apps and devices.

How people use FIDO

FIDO offers a range of security options that ensures the account owner is actively present to access his/her account rather than from a proxy like when passwords are used. Your organisation will not only benefit from reducing data breaches when using FIDO, but they will also enjoy huge-cost savings through avoidance of password resets, customer support and password provisioning.

Users will be able to use FIDO through security keys, face recognition, biometrics, fingerprint and voice recognition.

When will we see the end of passwords?

Unfortunately not anytime soon.  There is still much work to be done by software vendors and then organisations will also need to settle on preferred authentication methods like Windows Hello together with the prerequisite hardware and software.

Until we transition into the passwordless security world, organisations must still remember to address simple solutions such as employee education and awareness of evolving hacking methods which will likely protect them from a possible hack. FIDO can be applied to various markets such as financial payments and services, enterprise, telecommunications, Government and healthcare.

To learn more about FIDO alliance simple and stronger authentication, click here. Alternatively you can contact us for more information and practical recommendations on implementing multi-factor authentication.

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