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Passwords are one of the sources of frustration and Can the Future be passwordless?

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As the world continues to adapt to the pandemic, many organizations have opted to keep their workforce at home for a longer time. As some employees are spending time working both in the office and remotely. This hybrid workforce is already presenting many challenges for IT teams – one of them being password security. Passwords have become one of the main sources of frustration for IT teams and users alike. In fact, today’s IT teams are spending an average of six hours a week on password-related issues alone – an increase of 25% from 2019. On top of that, resetting, remembering, and changing passwords continues to drive users to reuse their credentials across accounts, including personal and business logins, putting critical information at risk.

 

While passwords have always been a prime target for malicious actors, this has only increased with the rise in remote work. From password stuffing to brute force attacks, threat actors continue to capitalize on moments in time like COVID-19 and rely on us – users – not following online security best practices. So, what can be done to alleviate password challenges? This is where passwordless authentication comes in.

 

There is a need of urgency for improving security through Passwordless authentication. A report shows, we found that 92% of IT professionals believe that delivering a passwordless experience for end users is the future for their organization. Yet, 85% do not think passwords are going away completely. A passwordless approach is not a replacement for passwords, but a complement to them, and more importantly, a critical security improvement.

 

Passwordless authentication provides employees with a user-friendly and secure login experience to their work accounts and devices – no matter where they access them from – while eliminating the use of a password. It brings several benefits, such as reduced IT costs by eliminating password-related risks, increased productivity among employees as they save time on remembering and/or changing passwords, and stronger security by enforcing stronger passwords that employees don’t need to remember and guarding every access point with more secure forms of authentication.

 

There are several methods organizations can implement to go passwordless including Single Sign-On (SSO) , Enterprise Password Management and Multifactor Authentication (MFA) – Enabling MFA allows IT teams to manage access at the individual user level, defined groups, or even by job role. MFA is unique in the sense that before granting access to an application it takes into consideration different “factors,” from location and IP address to biometrics, versus only one “factor” – as passwords do. This not only streamlines the process for the final user, it also improves IT’s confidence into the identity of the person requesting access.

 

The future would be password-less. But the experts cautioned that it may still need additional layers of security to keep cybercriminals at bay. Internet companies too have  realised consumers’ stress of remembering complicated passwords and risks of their re-use. Already, we have seen efforts from the likes of Microsoft to build a password-free regime. The ecosystem, however, is still in its infancy and may take years to mature.

 

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