Since the advent of digital technology, passwords have managed to haunt us everywhere in the digital world. By now, everything we own online or every gadget we have in our hands is password protected. However, in spite, their popularity password is now not as secure as they used to be.
With people, going through with using one password for every account, or using old, outdated passwords, the number of data breaches and hack attacks are dramatically on the rise. Now the question arises is what to do now when we are being snatched from our safe shelter?
Well, go, passwordless! Now, most of you must be questioning my mental health by now, but passwordless authentication is the new “thing” now. With passwords dying a natural but steady death, the only option we have is to go on without them.
Is your interest piqued by now? Well this article contains all the information you need on passwordless authentication such as:
- What is passwordless authentication?
- Working of Passwordless authentication.
- How secure it is?
Before delving into the mysteries of passwordless authentication, let’s start off with the very basics.
What is Passwordless Authentication?
As the name indicates, passwordless authentication is an authentication process where access to a device or account without the use of passwords. With this, you won’t have to go through with the hassle of typing elaborate sets of numbers, words, and symbols.
Instead, you opt for other methods such as Biometrics or security tokens or relying on other apps or devices that have already been verified as authentic. This method of authentication has started off with its takeover on passwords.
It is now commonly used in smartphones, tablets, or laptops. Some applications have also taken up the use of passwordless authentication such as Whatsapp or Slack. In such authentication method, the users are offered on or two-factor authentication without the use of passwords.
The most common types of passwordless authentication methods are:
- Email or SMS- based authentication
- Multi-factor authentication.
With such methods either magic- link is sent to the user via email or SMS or verification code is sent that grants access. The user clicks on the link to open an account, or the one-time code is entered. The user gets access once the code is verified. In biometrics, there is the fingerprint scanner, iris scanner of finger vein scanner.
How Passwordless Login Work?
Passwordless logins though don’t really require passwords. However, some form of authentication s needed for access. There are various ways through which passwordless logins work which are describes below:
1. Email authentication
This is the most widely used passwordless authentication method. As the name depicts here, the email-based systems verify the user’s identity using an authentic email address and an encrypted code or link. Here is how it works:
- User clicks on the login in option.
- An email is generated with an encrypted DKIM code for the user to send.
- The user sends the email to the website or login server, where the code is decrypted and processed.
- The user’s identity and other credentials are matched with the website records.
- If the identity is confirmed, the user is granted access.
This authentication method is efficient and secure. Furthermore, it is also swift and saves you from going through with the hassle of frequently changing passwords and remembering them.
This method is widely in use nowadays, specifically amongst nonprofit donations. With this, these charity organizations can get rid of the conundrum caused due to the tie between being secure and providing the best user experience. Passwordless email authentication allows these organizations to achieve it all.
2. Code-based authentication
Code-Based authentication and email authentication is somewhat similar. However, here the code is sent to the user by the website or login server rather than the other way round. Here the token is linked to login session.
The code once verified basically is permission to view content, create posts, etc. whenever you perform a new action. The verification through code is done efficiently. The sites do so running the code’s signature through the security algorithm. This way, the user’s identity for various actions and subdomain are revealed.
This also saves you from the hassles of login frictions. Although this system is relatively reliable and efficient, it can be a bit tricky for some websites to go through with.
3. Biometric authentication
The use of biometric authentication such as fingerprint scans, iris scans, or finger vein scans is rapidly growing in popularity. Nowadays, almost all of the smartphones are equipped with one or other form of biometric authentication.
The baseline of the working is very simple. All you have to do get the scanner in contact with the biometric. This means, if it is the case of a fingerprint scanner, then the finger has to be in touch or in range of the scanner. Same is the case with iris scanner where you have to get the iris in line with the scanner for it to scan the iris.
Although this technology is relatively efficient, it surely is somewhat heavy on the pocket. However, this is by far the most secure method of authentication. This is because a person’s body part, odor, gait, or DNA is individually unique and can never be copied whatsoever.
Biometric authentication is fervently used in places where high security is required. Forensic investigations, airport, and bank security are some of the frequent users of this technology.
Passwordless Authentication- secure or not?
After being robbed from our safe shelter of passwords and being thrown into a passwordless world, the million-dollar question here is whether passwordless authentication is secure or not? After all, passwords have surely long since had somewhat managed to protect us and kept us safe, and suddenly they are not that secure. So the question of passwordless authentication reliable is undoubtedly legit.
Well to clear the air, passwordless authentication is surely very secure not to mention very efficiently. Now you would argue that there are various ways to make sure passwords are protected too. You can change your password regularly, avoid using general information in passwords, make sure you use a mixture of upper case and lower case letters with numbers and characters.
However, all this is too much of a hassle and frankly some people font even bother with going through with these precautions. Which is why there is an alarming rise in data breaches, thus the solution here is undoubtedly to go passwordless.
Methods like email authentication, biometric scans, and code-based authentication are incredibly secure. T=furthermore, they are also very convenient as with them you won’t have to go through with the hassle of remembering complex words or phrases.
Also, these methods make use of techniques that jumbles data and desensitizes it, such as:
In this security method, the website or login admin generates a token or string of characters is random. This token is a replacement of the actual data and is hard to crack as there is no mathematical link between the token and the data.
Here you use an algorithm to transfer sensitive information into an encrypted text or ciphertext. The original data can also be viewed after the text is decrypted through a decryption key.
Benefits of Opting for Passwordless Authentication
Now that you are confident that passwordless authentication is definitely secure, oy might be wondering what other benefits does it propose. This method is ideal for organizations who are in search of techniques that ensure that the login process is merely fast and efficient.
Furthermore, with going for passwordless authentication, you can have it all. With it, you can make sure that you can keep sensitive data safe online and you won’t have to remember passwords.
Also, with passwordless authentication making accounts while shopping online or going through with impulse purchases won’t be much of hassle. Thus to sum it all passwordless authentication method is time-saving and rids you of the frustrations of remembering passwords.
Now that you are aware of everything passwordless authentication has to offer, its perks and its security stance. Furthermore, you are also now very well aware of the charm it presents. So are you ready to let go of passwords and move on?