For decades, people have been using passwords as a form of authentication to access their accounts and secure their devices. However, in today’s digital world, passwords are one of the critical problems in cybersecurity. According to the 2020 Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report, passwords have contributed to about 81% of hacking-related data breaches.

Passwords are knowledge-based authentication mechanisms that enable access but do not verify the legitimacy of an individual’s claimed identity. Consequently, when a criminal uses a stolen password to access the user’s account, the system will not be able to detect that the person trying to log in is not the real owner of the account.

Various enterprises are eliminating passwords to address password problems and strengthen and streamline their operations’ security. Passwordless authentication enables users to securely authenticate into their accounts, applications, and devices, without the need to enter a password.

Organizations are replacing passwords with other authentication credentials, such as possession factors (something users have with them, typically a security token or a cryptographic key on their devices) and inherence factors (something the user is, generally their biometric data).

Moreover, passwordless login provides more advantages to enterprises other than eliminating password-related risks.

Institutions can reduce security risks by implementing modern solutions compliant with FIDO 2.0 standards for strong authentication. FIDO2 authentication solutions replace passwords with stronger cryptographic login credentials that are not easily stolen and cannot easily be shared with other individuals. Often these on-device credentials cannot be unlocked without a second factor or device-based authentication, such as a PIN code, a swipe pattern, or biometrics authentication.

By using passwordless login credentials, companies can save on password reset and helpdesk support expenses. Most enterprises deploy knowledge-based authentication to allow users to change their passwords when their accounts get compromised. The password reset procedure may be an easy task for some. However, it can be complex and frustrating for others, mainly when they forget the corresponding answers to their security questions. This common problem with password reset requests can be expensive to the organization. 

The world’s transition towards digitization calls for institutions to leave behind legacy systems and adopt modern authentication solutions. Replacing passwords with FIDO 2.0-compliant login credentials provides more robust and seamless authentication, allowing enterprises to protect their networks and prevent cybersecurity threats while exercising due diligence to regulatory compliance. For more information, see this infographic by Ipsidy.

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