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What is passwordless authentication?

Imagine a world where you didn’t have to try and remember complex passwords, where you weren’t regularly prompted to come up with new ones and where your staff didn’t waste IT resources recovering lost passwords. Well, you no longer have to imagine. That utopia already exists. Welcome to the world of passwordless authentication!

What is passwordless authentication?

Passwordless authentication is a method of accessing a system, device or application without using a password. Instead, the user’s identity is verified using something the user has (e.g. an OTP sent to a mobile device) or biometrics (e.g. a fingerprint or facial recognition). If you have a smartphone, you’re probably already familiar with passwordless through using biometrics to access your phone. With passwordless authentication, you can apply a similar practice across your organisation.

What’s wrong with passwords?

Switching away from the decades-old password security method may seem daunting or disruptive. Sure, passwords are inconvenient, as we alluded to at the start, but they work, don’t they? So why go to the trouble of replacing them with something else? Here’s why:

Username and password combinations are inherently vulnerable to cyber attacks!

In response to the many password demands, users often resort to weak passwords, repeating passwords or writing passwords down. Cyber criminals easily exploit this poor password management. Attackers use well-proven techniques, such as phishing, brute force attacks, and credential stuffing, to guess or steal credentials and access sensitive information and systems. Put simply, relying on passwords is not safe.

Benefits of passwordless authentication

Going passwordless will benefit your organisation in the following ways:

Enhanced security – as discussed above, removing passwords eliminates using login credentials that can be easily exploited.

Improved user experience – your employees will no longer suffer the inconvenience of regularly changing passwords and will have a seamless sign-in experience.

Cost savings – you won’t need to invest in password management software tools, and your IT resources will be freed up from password monitoring and resetting forgotten and misplaced login credentials.

How to set up password authentication

Now that we’ve convinced you of the merits of being passwordless, you might be wondering how to implement it in your organisation. Switching to a passwordless environment requires a strategy and planning. Depending on the size of your organisation, it might require a staged approach. 

We recommend engaging the services of a managed security services provider (MSSP) to assist with the transition. If you’d like to learn more about passwordless authentication and how to implement it in your organisation, please get in touch.