In today's digital age, passwords protect online accounts and business systems from unauthorized access. The balance of selecting passwords strong enough to protect against hackers and malicious software is often weighed against an ability for the user environment to access systems without increased difficulty.
But, as cyberattacks become more advanced with each passing day, it is easier for criminals to bypass passwords and gain access to information through an account takeover attack. As a result, many businesses are exploring authentication methods beyond relying on passwords, either by avoiding passwords or requiring additional confirmation of identity.
What is passwordless authentication, and how can businesses benefit from using it?
Passwordless authentication is a security measure that uses different methods, such as biometrics or one-time codes, to verify users' identities without passwords. Implementing passwordless authentication can increase security as described below.
- Reduce the risk of cyberattack. Since many cybercriminals use stolen passwords to gain access to accounts and systems, using passwordless authentication can help reduce the risk of being hacked. Passwordless authentication also helps eliminate risky password practices like reusing passwords across platforms or creating easy-to-guess passcodes.
- Make it easier for employees to sign in. With passwordless authentication, employees can sign-in quickly and easily without having to remember multiple passwords. This practice also reduces the instances of users forgetting passwords and contacting IT professionals for assistance.
- Improving customer experience. By providing a quick and easy way for customers to access systems, the customer experience becomes simplified and more satisfying.
- Saving time and money. Passwordless authentication can save businesses time and money by increasing login efficiencies and reducing dependency on help desk assistance.
Methods for implementing passwordless authentication
Using passwordless authentication strengthens a company's security posture and improves the end-user experience. Organizations can utilize a number of passwordless methods, depending on requirements of the business and operational setup.
Multifactor authentication (MFA)
MFA is a security process that requires users to provide two or more forms of authentication, such as a password plus fingerprint scan. Multiple authentication is designed to ensure that only authorized users can access accounts and systems.
Typically used as part of MFA, one-time passwords (OTPs) are only valid for a single login and only active for a short period. OTPs are often sent to users via text message or email and can be used to access websites or apps. Enabling OTPs adds an extra layer of security to business online accounts.
Single sign-on (SSO)
SSO is a process that allows users to login to multiple applications or websites with a single set of credentials. SSO can be passwordless, which makes it easier for employees to access systems and applications while reducing the problems associated with remembering multiple passwords across various platforms.
SSO is great for businesses whose employees access multiple applications and websites. SSO also allows for more granular control over employee access, as administrators can easily revoke access for former employees or contractors.
Biometrics is a type of authentication that uses physical or behavioral characteristics to verify the identity of a user. These characteristics can include fingerprints, iris scans, face recognition, and even vocal patterns.
One advantage of biometrics is that unique physical characteristics are obviously very difficult to spoof. Unlike passwords, which can be stolen or guessed, biometric data is unique to each individual, which provides a more reliable form of authentication than passwords.
Additionally, biometrics do not require users to remember passwords. Users simply need to provide unique physical or behavioral characteristics to login. As a result, biometric authentication can be faster and easier than traditional password-based authentication methods.
However, there are potential privacy issues with biometrics. To avoid biometrics-related privacy issues, businesses should only collect and store necessary biometric data while ensuring that biometric data is encrypted and secure.
If your business is ready to make the take advantage of passwordless authentication, talk to your IT department or a dependable managed IT services provider like Roebuck Technologies about which method is best for you. We will help you set up the system and ensure it meets your security requirements. Contact us today!