Passwords are widely used as a method of authentication, but they are also one of the weakest. They are often easy to guess or steal, and many people use the same password across multiple accounts, making them vulnerable to cyber-attacks. Moreover, the sheer volume of passwords that people need to remember leads to habits that make it easier for criminals to breach passwords, such as creating weak passwords and storing them in non-secure ways. In fact, 61% of all data breaches involve stolen or hacked login credentials. However, in recent years, a better solution has emerged: passkeys. Passkeys offer enhanced security and a more convenient way of logging into accounts.
Passkey authentication works by generating a unique code for each login attempt, which is then validated by the server. This code is created using a combination of information about the user and the device they are using to log in. Passkeys can be considered as digital credentials that allow authentication in web services or cloud-based accounts without the need to enter a username and password. This technology leverages Web Authentication (WebAuthn), which is a core component of FIDO2, an authentication protocol. Instead of relying on a unique password, passkeys utilize public-key cryptography for user verification. The user's device stores the authentication key, which can be a computer, mobile device, or security key device, and it is used by websites that have passkeys enabled to log the user in.
One of the advantages of using passkeys instead of passwords is their increased security. Passkeys are more difficult to hack, especially when they are generated using a combination of biometric and device data. Biometric data can include facial recognition or fingerprint scans, while device information can include the device's MAC address or location. This multi-factor authentication approach makes it significantly harder for hackers to gain unauthorized access to accounts.
Passkeys also offer greater convenience compared to passwords. With traditional password authentication, users often struggle to remember numerous complex passwords, leading to time-consuming and frustrating password resets. On average, it takes about three minutes and 46 seconds for a person to reset their password. Passkeys eliminate this problem by providing a single code that can be used across all accounts, making it easier to log in and reducing the likelihood of forgetting or misplacing passwords.
Another significant advantage of passkeys is their resistance to phishing attacks. Phishing scams, where scammers attempt to trick users into revealing their login credentials through fraudulent emails and disguised login pages, are prevalent. However, when using passkey authentication, such scams are ineffective. Even if a hacker manages to obtain a user's password, they would still need the device passkey authentication to breach the account, making it much more difficult for them to succeed.
Despite the numerous advantages of passkeys, there are some disadvantages to consider. The primary drawback is that passkeys are not yet widely adopted. Many websites and cloud services still rely on passwords, lacking passkey capability. As a result, users may have to continue using passwords for some accounts until passkeys become more widely accepted. This can create a slightly awkward situation where passkeys are used for some accounts and passwords for others.
Additionally, passkeys require extra hardware and software to generate and validate the codes, which can be initially costly for businesses to implement. In contrast, passwords are free and easy to use, as users can simply create them during the signup process. However, the improved security and user experience provided by passkeys can outweigh the initial cost, leading to potential savings in the long run.
It is important to prepare for the future of authentication by embracing passkeys. They offer a more secure and convenient alternative to passwords, mitigating the issue of weak passwords. Passkeys have the potential to enhance cybersecurity and boost productivity for both businesses and individuals. While challenges such as limited adoption and implementation costs exist
LET US BE YOUR IT PARTNER! 724.204.1950
©1999 - 2023 NEXTGen IT Solutions LLC.
Website created and maintained by NextGEN IT Solutions LLC