Passwords have been an integral part of people's lives. Yet passwords are insecure and allow cybercriminals to attack businesses and their users. However, replacing passwords widely with better authentication methods wasn't practical.
Today, businesses of all sizes can eliminate passwords and introduce a more secure authentication using biometrics and passkeys. This short yet insightful eBook guides business leaders about how they can reduce reliance on passwords and fortify their cyber defenses.
Table of Contents
- Executive Summary
- Chapter 1 Why Everyone Is Moving On From Passwords?
- Chapter 2 Will Passwords Disappear Completely?
- Chapter 3 What Passwordless Options Are Available?
- Chapter 4 What is Truly Passwordless?
The smartphone has revolutionized the last decade; it improved people’s lives to the extent that it’s almost impossible to live without a smartphone in developed and rapidly developing countries. Then the COVID-19 pandemic dramatically increased the number of digital interactions in people’s lives, making it necessary for organizations to digitize their services as much as possible to sustain competition, retain customers, and drive growth.
This change results from the need for consumers to create and manage more digital accounts to interact with and attain value from multiple apps, services, and platforms. And most of these accounts rely on passwords that the users manage insecurely by setting easy-to-guess passwords, using the same password or a variation across multiple accounts, or insecurely managing the passwords. Consumers aren't the only ones struggling with passwords; password-related security issues and breaches have been costing businesses in terms of reputation, consumer trust, and revenue losses.
This has led to a growing interest in authentication methods that don’t rely on passwords as better alternatives. Although such authentication methods — for example, biometrics — have been in discussions theoretically for a while, only recently they became more practical and viable to implement for production-grade applications and use cases.
Currently, biometrics-based authentication is driven by the FIDO2 specification, which is led by a global alliance with board-level members like Apple, Amazon, American Express, Google, and Intel, among others. The specification guides biometrics authentication using on-device user authentication with a privacy-friendly mechanism — that is, the authentication itself is performed on-device; the private information necessary for authentication is only stored securely on the user’s device and not transmitted over the internet.
In other words, FIDO2-based authentication without passwords — also known as passwordless authentication — is a technological leap over passwords in terms of security and user experience. And the deep penetration of smartphones and other personal computing devices eases the transition to passwordless. Hence, organizations should strategize their transition to offer better security and experience for their users. However, it won’t always be practical; in those circumstances, organizations should architect an authentication schema that lets users choose between password-based and passwordless authentication.