SoundAuth

The future of Passwordless Authentication

The future of Passwordless Authentication
Owing to countless cases of security breaches, it is safe to say that passwords are on their way to becoming an obsolete concept. FIDO Alliance, backed by tech giants like Microsoft, Apple and Google have come up with Passwordless Authentication and implementation of Passkeys, a revolutionary concept in the field of cybersecurity. In this blog, we have covered everything you need to know about passkeys, their advantage over passwords and how to get started with them!

The online world is vastly dominated by passwords and security codes that have been fabricated by human minds. Passwords have been an integral part of online security, keeping a user’s private information under wraps. However, over the past few decades, there have been countless hacking incidents and identity thefts constantly proving the fragility and unreliability of these passwords. Hackers resort to phishing and malware attacks and retrieve sensitive user information that puts the user’s security at stake.

According to a detailed study by Verizon, followed by a report named “Data Breaches Investigation Report”, it has been noticed that almost 80% of data breaches are a result of compromised passwords. Hackers utilize the vulnerabilities in the user’s device to hack into their systems and retrieve sensitive information. Even corporate giants have fallen prey to hacking due to password breaches. In June 2021, Linkedin encountered a severe data breach wherein 700 million users’ private information such as personal emails, contact numbers etc was leaked and put up for “sale” on a dark website.

Additionally, due to the compulsion of creating multiple accounts, users often suffer from a syndrome known as “Password Overload”. Password Overload occurs due to the stress of creating and memorizing multiple passwords, resulting in reused and weaker passwords that are more prone to being hacked. Google’s Security Survey has revealed that 65% of people reuse the same password on multiple websites.

The Current Scenario

Even in 2022, passwords are still prevalent and largely used by most companies and websites. However,  in order to overcome such challenges, all major companies have introduced “Two-factor verification” wherein the user’s information is protected by the second line of security in the form of biometrics or OTP. Once the user enters their password, an OTP is sent to the registered mobile number or email id, as a means to reconfirm the user’s identity. 

Although this seems to be a far safer option, hackers and scammers have managed a way around these security protocols.  

Phishing attacks can have devastating consequences. According to Proofpoint’s 2022 State of the Phish Report, a whopping 83% of organizations said they had suffered successful phishing attacks last year. Of them, 54% ended in a customer or client data breach.

When it comes to phishing attack remediation, IBM’s 2021 Cost of a Data Breach Report found phishing to be the second most expensive attack vector to contend with, costing organizations an average of $4.65 million.

Developers around the world have been dedicated to finding a stable solution that can minimize or put a halt to password and OTP-based frauds. This is where the concept of a passwordless world comes in. FIDO Alliance, an open organization dedicated to developing and promoting authentication standards have come up with an authentication protocol that is set to revolutionize the face of authentication in the near future.

What is Passwordless Authentication?

Passwordless Authentication is an authentication method that allows users to verify their presence, sign in to a website and gain access to its contents without entering any password. Instead of passwords, users are required to provide other forms of evidence to validate their identities, such as biometrics, proximity badges, passkeys and more. Passwordless Authentication paves the way for a highly secured online ecosystem governed by unique authentication factors that are completely independent of human-made passwords.

Technological giants such as Apple, Google, Microsoft etc have already complied with FIDO Sign-in standards and announced that passwordless sign-in methods will be available in their future OS updates. This promises a faster, highly secure and frustration-free login experience across devices and websites, completely eradicating passwords.

A Glimpse Into The Passwordless Future

The future is passwordless. It means maximised security and ease of use coupled with minimum time to authenticate. When a user logs into a website or an app, they will not require manually typing in a fragile password. All that the user needs to do is unlock their phone. Moreover, passkeys are cross-platform, meaning they can be easily shared between nearby devices with the help of QR codes or Bluetooth.

  1. How Do Passkeys Work?

Passkeys are unique and private keys that are accessible only to a specific user and are stored in their “trusted” devices (mostly phones), not accessible by the server. 

  • The server will contain the Public Key (an email id, a username etc). 
  • Once a user clicks on “Sign In with Passkey”, a notification is sent to their “trusted” device asking them to complete the authentication. 
  • Passkeys are based on WebAuthn standards, paving way for authentication through biometrics, patterns or PINs. 
  • Once the user completes the authentication procedure, a unique Digital Signature is generated by the user’s device and sent to the server for verification.
  • The server checks the compatibility between the public key and the digital signature. If it's a match, the user is logged into the website/ app immediately.

Login through passkeys is a single-step procedure as most of the background steps are performed internally between the server and the device, without the user’s involvement. Passkeys are FIDO-approved credentials and ensure a frustration-free and frictionless customer login experience without the involvement of passwords.

  1. Setting Up A Passkey 

The process of generating a passkey for any compatible website or app is quite simple and user-friendly. 

  • Once you visit a passkey-compatible website, click on “Sign-in with passkey”
  • Enter your username and validate your identity using biometric recognition such as Face ID or fingerprint scanning.
  • Once you’ve authenticated your credentials, the unique passkey for your device will be generated and automatically synced to your iCloud keychain (in case of IOS devices) or Google Password Manager (in case of Android devices). Once synced, you can access and use this passkey on other devices that belong to you.

TrillBit | Making Way for a Passwordless Future

“33% account-compromised victims have stopped doing business with companies and websites with weak security protocols” - A report by DataProt 

In today’s world, sticking to the age-old password-oriented protocols can be harmful to one’s business growth. Companies are swiftly shifting to passwordless modes of sign-in. However, integrating passwordless authentication can be tedious and occupy a company's resources as well as revenue. Most small companies are facing challenges with passkey integration as developers might require a long time to incorporate long code bases into their existing application code. 

TrillBit has become a part of the FIDO alliance and is set to launch a standardized solution to ease the integration of passwordless authentication and pave the way for maximized customer satisfaction. We help you transition into a frictionless passwordless authentication standard for your website/ mobile app that ensures your customers’ data security and promotes a great user experience. To know more about our product, contact us at contact@trillbit.com

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