Are passwords and two factor authentication fit for purpose as cyberattacks become increasingly sophisticated?

The role of passwords and two factor authentication is being enhanced by innovations like passkeys. Passkeys utilise cryptographic key pairs, offering a more streamlined and secure authentication method. Unlike traditional passwords, which can be weak and susceptible to breaches due to user error, passkeys reduce the likelihood of a user creating a vulnerable or weak password. The integration of biometrics, such as fingerprint or face ID scans, further strengthens their security. While it’s early to declare the end of passwords and two factor authentication, there’s a definite shift to more advanced, passwordless authentication systems.

What is your advice to companies that are evaluating their password security processes?

As passkeys gain traction, organisations must be proactive in adapting to these changes. Preparing for the introduction of passkeys involves understanding the underlying cryptographic technology, recognising its advantages over traditional authentication methods, and training personnel. When a company integrates passkey support, it reduces the reliance on traditional usernames and passwords. This not only simplifies the login process but also introduces a more robust, layered security mechanism that incorporates biometrics. Moreover, it’s crucial to educate users on the benefits and use cases of passkeys, ensuring a smoother transition in the long term.

Are passkeys more secure than passwords and two factor authentication?

Yes. With passkeys, you can quickly create and sign into accounts – no password required – with a much stronger credential that is unique to every website or app you are using. Passkeys are easier to use and also protect against phishing attacks, so users can’t be tricked into giving their password or 2FA codes away to an attacker. Passkeys can have two factor authentication built-in, like requiring a pin code or biometric scan before they can be used.

What is the timeline for widespread passkey introduction?

The cybersecurity landscape is rapidly adapting to passkey technology. As major platforms support passkey authentication, there’s a clear shift ahead. The balance of enhanced security and user-friendly experience that passkeys provide makes them a compelling choice. The transition will be driven by global adoption across businesses and consumer end-users, technological compatibility across devices, and the continued evolution of passwordless authentication methods. Passkey adoption will increase every year for the next several years on its way to widespread adoption.

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