It’s no secret that passwords and their management have become a nuisance for both users and the organization’s administrator. We’ve created hundreds of passwords for various applications throughout time, but remembering and keeping track of them is difficult. The reason for this is that they are difficult to remember and easily misplaced. That’s why they’re so readily hacked, and bad actors take advantage of it to shatter security norms and launch several successful security breaches.
Fortunately, Passwordless Authentication is becoming a reality for such situations, boosting the business’s security posture. According to the 2020 Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR), “With Passwordless Authentication and Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) in place, breaches due to stolen credentials are less likely.”
What is Passwordless Authentication?
Passwordless authentication works by replacing passwords with other authentication factors that are intrinsically safer. It uses more secure alternatives like One-time Passcode, Magic Links, or Biometric Authentication.
Types of Passwordless Authentication
Instead of entering a username and password, an individual first gives his phone number. The customer will receive a one-time-use code by SMS after inputting their mobile number. The user will have access to his application after entering the one-time-use code in the login box.
Instead of asking a user for a password, this form of passwordless authentication asks a user to enter their email id into the login box. An email is then sent to them, with a link they can click to log in.
Authentication is done using a device that the user takes about with them (e,g Mobile, Laptop, Tablet). These include a variety of alternatives for authentication, such as a code generated by a popular Authenticator App (Google, Microsoft, Authy), a Time-Based OTP sent through email or text message, or simple OTPs sent via SMS or a hardware token.
Individuals’ physical attributes, such as fingerprints and retina scans, are studied and saved in a database, and the same data is confirmed during user authentication.
One-time passwords (OTP) or one-time codes (OTC) are similar to magic links but require users to input a code that you send them (via email or to their mobile device via SMS) instead of simply clicking a link. This process is repeated each time a user logs in.
Instead of asking a user for a password, this form of passwordless authentication asks a user to enter their email address into the login box. An email is then sent to them, with a link they can click to log in. This process is repeated each time the user logs in.
Users receive a push notification on their mobile devices through a dedicated authenticator app (for example, Google Authenticator) and open the app through a push notification to verify their identity.
How to implement and use passwordless authentication?
Before implementing Passwordless Authentication, you should run through a certain checklist.
Which Passwordless method to opt for?
There’s a wide range of alternatives, such as Fingerprint and Retina scans, as well as numerous Possession Factors.
How many levels of authentication factors?
Suppose you are trying to opt for Passwordless with basic Username and OTP, but it’s recommended you have multiple authentication factors for improved security.
Adopt the necessary hardware/software:
If you choose the biometric method, it will be more expensive because you will need to install hardware on your end. Other possession factors, such as (OTPs, LINKs), can be obtained by purchasing high-level security software from an IAM Vendor
Provision and managing users:
If you’re using a passwordless approach such as OTP over SMS/Email, you’ll need to start providing and collecting legitimate phone numbers and email addresses to send the One-Time Passcode to. You must register each unique Fingerprint/Retina to generate a database for future authentication when using the Biometric variant of Passwordless Login.
Implementing Passwordless Authentication on-premises can be a lengthy and time-consuming process that can lead to future complications. This is why you should outsource your Passwordless Authentication to a reputable IAM provider such as MiniOrange. This considerably accelerates the procedure at a cheap cost and maintenance.
Why are passwords not secure? Why opt for Passwordless authentication methods?
Applications have become a daily necessity for organizational end-users/employees to manage their everyday tasks in the modern digital world. As the number of programs grows, so does the stress of remembering “N number of passwords” for such applications on a daily basis. When some of the higher-security applications demand that passwords be changed on a regular basis, the problem becomes even worse. Users find it difficult to remember and maintain track of various passwords that change regularly. Overwhelmed with password management, many users take dangerous shortcuts such as using the same password for many applications, especially if it contains common characters (weak passwords), scribbling passwords on sticky notes, and then misplacing them.
These all-too-risky password breach methods make it easier for cybercriminals to plan cyber assaults and steal sensitive data. They can simply mount attacks once they have your credentials.
Password management becomes a hassle for users, which diminishes the user experience and has a negative impact on productivity. Secondly, attackers can quickly crack a simple username-password combination because they have many means to try to figure out a specific user’s password.
Here comes passwordless authentication that provides a variety of functional & business benefits.
- Prevents Password spraying, Credential stuffing, spear phishing, brute force attack, offline cracking, and others.
- Provides Greater Security
- Improved user experience
Future of Authentication
Password management becomes a hassle for users, which diminishes the user experience and has a negative impact on productivity. Several statistics show that deploying Passwordless Authentication improves an organization’s security structure posture while also enhancing productivity and user experience.
Combining Passwordless with Adaptive authentication will help safeguard and reinforce your system, making it more durable and difficult to hack.
Miniorange multiple authentication mechanisms, such as one-time passcodes sent via SMS and email, Push Notification, Biometrics, and others, are supported by passwordless security.
The end-user experience should be the primary consideration when choosing a dedicated authentication factor. If your users utilize mobile devices on a regular basis, one of the Possession techniques, such as OTP over SMS or Link Based Authentication, will be handier.
If your users, on the other hand, use corporate applications with On-Premise support, email is the ideal option. Most preferred, OTP over SMS will be the best Passwordless way to adopt because it will provide end-users with a predictable and consistent approach to traditional authentication.