Microsoft has recently joined a bandwagon of companies that have been issuing calls on abolishing the password. Passwords have perhaps outlived their lives and this is the reason we are seeing phone manufacturers like Apple, Samsung and OnePlus shift towards other methods like Face Identification and more commonly the fingerprint sensor.
Cybersecurity has been a pressing issue lately with a sharp increase in the number of Ransomware and malware attacks. A recent report mentioned that people were lazy enough to keep their passwords as “123456” and “Password”. In its latest blog post, Microsoft has detailed how the Passwords can no longer be trusted as the first line of defence against cyber threats.
Weak Passwords have often helped the attackers to break into systems. Most of the websites these days make it mandatory to use passwords that are a combination of alphabets, letters and symbols, however, all of this only makes the entire process tedious and cumbersome.
Microsoft has already introduced the Windows Hello biometric authentication system in Windows 10. Furthermore, the company is working with FIDO to promote password free solutions for everyone. That apart Microsoft also has an Authenticator smartphone app that works similar to the RSA tokens that are used by the enterprises.
It will take time for all the parties, all the important websites and all the important line-of-business applications to adopt this technology, and it will take even more time for users, customers and organizations to make the cultural shift required so that people can really live in this new world. But we have the blueprint for accelerating the move away from passwords. The key to success is making sure that the user experience is actually easier and better than what they have with passwords today.- Rob Lefferts, Director of Program Management for Windows
As I pointed out earlier, it is not just Microsoft that wants the world to go password free. Others like Google and Apple are also building their products with the password-free ideology in mind. On a related note, one should also spare some thoughts on how Biometrics including Windows Hello has been successfully spoofed with a simple laser printout on a normal paper. Personally speaking the biometrics is still a work in progress and hopefully, it will become very robust in the future.