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Passwordless authentication is increasing in popularity. Here’s how it could impact your digital life at work and at home.
Passwordless authentication is having its big moment in the spotlight as Dashlane and tech companies such as Apple and Google have made the leap toward decreased reliance on passwords. While this new login method isn’t foolproof, it provides much greater protection for your logins, and many see the technology as ushering in a new era of security.
Security improvements often come at the expense of your user experience. But with passwordless security, the opposite is true. Not only is it safer, it’s also a more seamless way to access your accounts.
As the name implies, passwordless authentication allows you to log in to your accounts without a password. While there are several ways to achieve this, the method that’s getting the most traction lately uses a passkey – a pair of cryptographic keys (one public and one private) specific to each of your accounts.
So what would passwordless authentication look like for the average person? Here’s how we imagine a day in the passwordless life.
Morning: social media scrolling simplified
You wake up, reach for your mobile phone and scroll through your social media feeds for a few minutes. While catching up on the latest news, you don’t have to think twice about your logins. That’s because your authenticator (either your mobile device or password manager that supports passkeys) and the website did all the work for you.
As you rub your eyes and open Twitter, the app instantly authenticates you by pairing the public key stored on the provider’s server with the private key that’s only stored on your authenticator – all seamlessly and effortlessly.
And while you make your coffee and mentally go through your to-do list before heading to work, one thing you’re not worried about is your logins ending up on the dark web. Even if you accidentally click on a phishing email link that someone snuck into your social feed, you won’t need to panic. Since your passkeys only work for the specific sites they were created for, they can’t be used by a malicious website or app.
Midday: a smooth and secure workflow
Throughout the day, you access your work email and various digital tools with passwordless authentication. Knowing your work accounts are protected gives you peace of mind, and since you never have to reset your company passwords, you also get time back in your busy schedule.
Today, your organisation is onboarding your team to a new customer relationship management (CRM) system. You take a quick break from your daily tasks to get the new app – since you don’t have to create and store a new password, you’re confident you can sail through the onboarding process. All you have to do is allow the website to create a passkey, and the authenticator stores it for you securely. The customer data in this new system is protected with WebAuthn, the underlying technology that powers passkeys, and you’re already moving on to the next thing on your to-do list – it’s a win for everyone.
Down the hall, your IT team is happy that it’s easy to keep business accounts secure and that they don’t have to manage passwords. According to the Gartner Group, between 20 and 50 per cent of all helpdesk calls are for password resets. With all that time saved, the team can work on more meaningful tasks, such as boosting your organisation’s security culture.
Evening: convenience and comfort
After work, you quickly catch up on some personal chores. Maybe you log in to your bank’s website or app to review your accounts and transfer some money. With passwordless authentication, your financial information is much better protected from cyber-criminals. Since passwordless authentication isn’t stored with the service provider, cyber-criminals can’t steal those logins by hacking into the provider’s server or database.
After dinner, it’s time to unwind with your favorite show. You log in to your streaming service, which you share with a few family members, including some who aren’t too tech-savvy. Despite this shared access, you’re not concerned about your account being hacked due to a weak or reused password.
All through the day, you relied on passwordless, phishing-resistant authentication to provide access to your work and personal accounts. Of course, you never really thought about it. You had a great day with your secure access just a click or two away.
While passwords aren’t disappearing anytime soon, the technology to replace them is already here. Eventually, you’ll be able to stop relying on passwords and eliminate one of the biggest risks to your account security with the help of passkey-supporting technology such as Dashlane.
Want password protection now that can set you up for a passwordless future? Dashlane offers integrated passkey support in its security-first password manager and was the first to offer an in-browser passkey solution. Learn more here or start your free trial of Dashlane today.
Originally published on Business Reporter