Passwords End with Passkeys
The death of passwords has been declared continuously by the security community but now it might stick with the introduction of passkeys. In this blog, we will provide an overview of the evolution of password security, contrasting it with more modern authentication methods. We will also highlight and provide a better understanding of the passwordless authentication gaps that attackers are exploiting and explore the benefits of passkeys.
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The History of Password Security
Password security has been evolving over the years. From taking a simple password and making it more complex by introducing special characters and/or longer passwords. While this made it harder to crack the password, this solution did not solve the problem of stolen or divulged passwords which are utilized in identity-based attacks. As password security continued to evolve, multi-factor authentication (MFA)– combining something you know (as a password) with something you have (a numeric token, fingerprint, RFID, etc.) – became the gold standard for authentication.
While MFA continues to be a strong and very popular solution, it went a long way to help curtail the use of compromised passwords. However, there was still a fundamental issue – the password itself. Passwords inherently remained weak, easily broken, and always susceptible to social engineering attacks. Not to mention the inconvenience of humans needing to remember these passwords, which led to the trend of writing them down and in many cases reusing the same password everywhere to avoid remembering multiple passwords.
To strengthen password security. Passwordless authentication has become a more acceptable solution because it removes the human factor and inconvenience of creating and remembering a password and removes the ability for an attacker to remotely socially engineer or steal a password from a user.
A common form of passwordless authentication is Passkeys. Passkeys are authentication credentials that become a sole, primary authentication that is more secure than any form of authentication based on a password and any other factor by encapsulating the core-tenets of multifactor into a single-authentication step. This makes it faster, easier, and more secure for the user.
Passkeys are based on two protocols: FIDO2 and webAuthN. These protocols have been proven to be resistant to threats such as phishing, credential stuffing, and man-in-the-middle (MiTM) attacks. Passkeys use your phone’s camera with a presented QR code, then use a physical device such as Yubikey, and/or biometric information such as your face as in Windows Hello or your fingerprint.
Now, with passkeys and Silverfort, you can protect your network identities with MFA without the need to download a third-party application. Third-party applications are commonly used in cyber-attacks, and leaving them behind helps the security aspect even more.
As an additional step in the authentication process, Silverfort can implement passkey and bridges it to applications, service accounts, command-line interfaces, and other platforms that otherwise cannot support this modern authentication type. Silverfort’s capabilities allow organizations and industries to bridge multiple-authentication types such as traditional multi-factor and passkeys into a ubiquitous identity solution for our customers. Silverfort provides the identity control plane and empowers customers to deploy user access control policies to govern access to critical and sensitive resources in their environment. To learn more, request a demo here.