As hackers become smarter and more adept at breaking passwords to access data, companies are looking at smarter, more secure ways of protecting their data and network. One type of security which is rapidly becoming more popular is passwordless access. According to Microsoft, 150 million people are already using this type of secure authentication method each month and this number is only increasing.

According to the World Economic Forum’s Global Risks Report 2019 cyber security is ranked in the top 5 global risks so reducing that risk should be top priority for all companies no matter the size.

What is a passwordless security system?

A passwordless security system is exactly how it sounds. It is a secure authentication system where the user does not use a password to access their computer, files etc. There are multiple different ways in which user authentication can be achieved without a password. One of the most popular methods is by using biometrics. This process uses body measurements and calculations related to human characteristics, the most common, being your fingerprint. However, technology is evolving all the time and they are now introducing new methods including using your pulse and retina scans as user authentication and identifiers.

These passwordless systems are often controlled using security keys which can often be programmed with several different user’s details. By using such passwordless logins it becomes a lot harder for cybercriminals to break through security to access data.

Why do I need a passwordless system?

Even the strongest of passwords that are made up of letters, numbers and special characters can eventually be hacked and discovered by cybercriminals leaving you open to a data breach.

By eliminating the use of passwords and implementing a more secure user authentication system you are greatly decreasing your risk of being hacked.

According to market and intelligence firm, Cybersecurity Ventures it is predicted that by the end of 2020 the number of passwords used worldwide will increase to 300 billion, which means each individual will own on average 90 accounts requiring passwords. If all these accounts had different passwords this would be near on impossible to remember all 90. This is when a passwordless system becomes the ideal data security solution.

How does a passwordless system work?

There are several different ways of implementing user authentication through a passwordless system. The most common is using a security key which holds one or multiple user credentials. Many of these have biometrics security in the form of a fingerprint scanner so that only the users who have been set up on the device can access the data.

Other secure authentication methods include proximity-based locks so that the user needs to have the security key and be near to the assigned device to access the data.

How can a passwordless security system improve my security?

By implementing user authentication through such methods as security keys and biometrics you are eliminating the risk of simple passwords. Even in this age in which security breaches are common the most regular password used is still 123456. Even with password rules employees will often choose something they will remember and is simple which leaves you open and vulnerable to data breaches.  

According to the World Economic Forum’s Passwordless authentication report, 80% of all data breaches involve weak or stolen passwords. So by eradicating passwords completely you are greatly reducing your chance of a data breach. 

Having a passwordless system bypasses all these risks and greatly improves your cybersecurity posture. Biometrics is a much more secure user authentication system as it is harder to hack making your data less susceptible to attacks.

As an example, Google employees switched over to using a type of passwordless system and not only have they spent 2/3 less time authenticating with security keys but they also have had no accounts of phishing attacks since implementing this type of secure authentication.

What are the other benefits of a passwordless system?

There are several other benefits to everyone from individual employees to CEOs.

A benefit which is worth taking into account when considering implementing a passwordless system is a potential increase in employee productivity. According to Ponemon Institute’s survey, employees spend on average 11 hours a year inputting and changing passwords which adds up to a large amount of time and money wasted. However, this won’t only help increase productivity in your employees in general, but will alleviate your IT department. On average IT departments in US spend 2.5 months each year resetting passwords. Imagine what your IT department can do with that extra time back?

Switching to a secure authentication system which is passwordless doesn’t need to be stressful or difficult. According to a recent report, Gartner predicts that by 2022, 60% of large and global enterprises and 90% of midsize enterprises will implement passwordless methods. To find out more about how you can improve your security with passwordless systems contact us today.