What is Passwordless Authentication?

Dear Readers,

The blog of this week is about a passwordless authentication system

Through this blog, we aim to make our readers aware of passwordless authentication and how it has the potential to provide convenient access and strengthened security that today’s organizations need to navigate this new environment.

Ambimat Electronics, with its experience of over forty years, desires to draw the attention of its readers and potential customers towards this blog post about their new product called AmbiSecure key and how it will benefit us.

What is Passwordless Authentication?

A passwordless authentication system is one that swaps the use of a traditional password with more secure factors. These extra-security methods may include a magic link, fingerprint, PIN, or a token delivered via email or text message.

Why Do We Need Passwordless Authentication?

Secure Authentication is the need of the hour due to a whopping increase in data breaches. Passwords are dying a natural death as they aren’t able to provide secure authentication as promised.  The report, entitled “The World Will Need to Protect 300 Billion Passwords by 2020”, produced by the cybersecurity product vendor, Thycotic, concludes that in just a few years, humans will be using over 100 billion passwords. Using connected machines – this number will continue to grow on a daily basis.  – will themselves utilize in excess of 200 billion passwords. These numbers further reinforce the need for the adoption of a better, secure and safer mechanism called “Passwordless Authentication”.

A passwordless Authentication is a form of authentication which allows users to log in without the hassle of typing passwords or in most cases without human intervention at all. These extra-secure methods include sending links or secret tokens via an email, Single-Sign-On, PIN, Finger-Print, or use of Hardware security tokens like Smart Cards.

Building further on the need to go passwordless several tech companies as blah blah blah got together to launch the Fast Identity Online (FIDO) Alliance in 2012. The FIDO alliance publishes an open standard with a mission to empower less difficult and more grounded user authentication.

The standards provide a framework for removing common attacks against passwords such as credential stuffing, password reuse, phishing, and man-in-the-middle (MITM) attacks. The most recent, FIDO2, enables passwordless authentication based on public-key cryptography.

FIDO2 specifications include WebAuthn and Client to Authenticator Protocol (CTAP). WebAuthn makes hacking harder by enabling online services to use FIDO Authentication through a standard web API that can be built into browsers and related web platform infrastructure. It is currently supported in Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge, and Apple Safari, as well as Windows 10 and Android platforms.

CTAP enables an external authenticator – such as a physical FIDO security key or a mobile phone – to work with browsers that support WebAuthn for easy authentication to online services.

The aim of Passwordless Authentication is to prevent:

  • Password Spraying: It’s a type of cyber-attack where hackers try to log in to all the accounts possessing the same password credentials
  • Brute Force Attacks: It’s a commonly used method by hackers where they try to guess the user’s login credential using the trial and error method. They try all the possible combinations until they successfully hack the account
  • Spear Phishing: It’s an email spoofing attack to get sensitive information for financial or trade gains
  • Social Engineering: It’s a psychological manipulation used by hackers to get into user’s sensitive information and critical resources

The bottom line is; Passwordless Authentication must be one of the most important New Year’s Resolution. Remembering passwords is not only a hassle but is also not secure. Removing passwords will help Enterprises, businesses as well as Individuals to reduce their costs and the attack risks borne by using passwords. Improved customer experience would prove to be icing on the cake for the Businesses while they promote passwordless authentication not just with customers but also within their respective organizations.

Going beyond passwords

FIDO2 is a standard that simplifies and secures user authentication. It uses public-key cryptography to protect from phishing attacks and is the only phishing-proof factor available. Corporations around the world and across many sectors can benefit from Fast Identity Online or Fast ID Online (FIDO) authentication, which their employees and users can use to minimize security risks and improve the user experience. We use FIDO for our AmbiSecure key and card which offers superior security by combining hardware-based authentication and public key cryptography to effectively defend against phishing attacks and eliminate account takeovers.

AmbiSecure helps organizations accelerate to a password-less future by providing support for the FIDO2 protocol. FIDO2 supports not only today’s two-factor authentication but also paves the way for eliminating weak password authentication, with strong single factor hardware-based authentication. The AmbiSecure provides a simple and intuitive authentication experience that users find easy to use, ensuring rapid adoption and organizational security. Ambisecure key or card do not require a battery or network connectivity, making authentication always accessible.

About Ambimat Electronics:

With design experience of close to 4 decades of excellence, world-class talent, and innovative breakthroughs, Ambimat Electronics is a single-stop solution enabler to Leading PSUs, private sector companies, and start-ups to deliver design capabilities and develop manufacturing capabilities in various industries and markets. AmbiIoT design services have helped develop Smartwatches, Smart homes, Medicals, Robotics, Retail, Pubs and brewery, Security.

Ambimat Electronics has come a long way to become one of India’s leading IoT(Internet of things) product designers and manufacturers today. We present below some of our solutions that can be implemented and parameterized according to specific business needs. AmbiPay, AmbiPower, AmbiCon, AmbiSecure, AmbiSense, AmbiAutomation.

To know more about us or what Ambimat does, we invite you to follow us on LinkedIn or visit our website.

References:

https://www.inc.com/joseph-steinberg/300-billion-thats-how-many-passwords-may-be-in-use-by-2020.html
https://www.zoho.com/blog/vault/5-reasons-to-adopt-passwordless-authentication-in-2021.html
https://blog.shi.com/solutions/demystifying-fido-and-the-path-to-passwordless-authentication/
https://www.loginradius.com/blog/start-with-identity/2019/10/passwordless-authentication-the-future-of-identity-and-security/
https://enterprise.verizon.com/en-au/resources/articles/analyzing-covid-19-data-breach-landscape/

Is Passwordless the future?
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