Did you know that in 2021, the most commonly used password globally was “123456”? And that’s not the only weak password that made the list. In fact, if any of your passwords look anything like “123456”, “qwerty”, or the incredibly original “password”, now might be the time to change it. So, it’s easy to see why businesses are beginning to turn to passwordless authentication solutions to keep their companies and data safe.
Weak passwords like these can generally take less than a second to crack in a brute force attack. This means that it’s now more vital than ever for organizations to implement robust identity and access management solutions to protect their users, accounts, and sensitive data from password-related attacks. Many organizations are eliminating passwords from the mix altogether by addressing the issue at its root, and are starting to implement passwordless methods of authentication. But what can be classed as passwordless?
While we use “passwordless authentication” as an umbrella term, the sub-types within this can be split into solutions we at Expert Insights consider “semi” passwordless, and “true” passwordless. “Semi” passwordless solutions include certain types of Single Sign-On (SSO) and Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA), where the password itself still exists, but where users can log on to all connected accounts password-free via one connected portal, or sign-in using alternative methods of authentication—such as biometrics and authenticator apps. “True” passwordless, on the other hand, means that the password itself doesn’t exist—instead, the user’s account is created using passwordless methods. This method heavily relies on FIDO2 standards and public-key cryptography to authenticate users.
So, let’s jump into it. We’ve put together a list of the top 10 passwordless authentication solutions for organizations looking to reduce password usage and simplify the log-in process for users. We’ve evaluated these based on SSO capabilities, methods of passwordless authentication available, policy management, and reporting capabilities.
What Is Passwordless Authentication?
Passwordless authentication is a means of logging into your digital accounts, without needing to type in a password each time. As organizations continue to rely more heavily on SaaS applications and services, the number of online accounts for employees to manage has grown too. This increases risk of account and password compromise, and password theft attacks, which can be difficult for security teams to manage.
True passwordless solutions include biometric identification, some knowledge factors, and physical objects to improve account security. If we look at cellphones as one example, we can see how passwords and passcodes have been replaced, in recent years, by facial recognition or fingerprint scanning. These biological identification methods don’t require us to remember anything, whilst remaining secure.
Why Do You Need Passwordless Authentication?
Passwordless authentication is easier on the end user whilst being more secure.
We are supposed to use a unique password for each of our accounts. This password should be an unpredictable mix of capital letters, lower case letters, special characters, and numbers. This password should be hard to replicate. The downside of this is that it’s hard to remember.
Most people reuse a simple password across multiple accounts. The problem with this is that when one account is breached, all of your accounts are vulnerable.
Passwordless takes away this risk, by taking away your password. This ensures that your account is securely protected, whilst freeing up users so they don’t have to remember a complex series of letters, keystrokes, and numbers.