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Passwordless Authentication Methods for Account Access

by Jay Ouellette 0 Comments

Close up of finger touching blue toned screen on tablet pcJust a short time ago everyone was starting to talk about passwords diminishing from existence. New forms of proving an individual’s identity are getting better and better each month and the FIDO Alliance deserves all the recognition for making it possible. The FIDO Alliance is focused on making authentication secure for consumers without using common OTP methods. Passwordless authentication methods for account access is the future for all users’ experiences being streamlined and less obtrusive. Similar to how PortalGuard offers flexible 2FA methods.

Six months ago, when fingerprint readers were becoming more prominent and available in the marketplace, I said I'd never use one unless I was accessing some James Bond type files and documentation. Fast forward to today, I use it religiously through my banking app, healthcare applications, and many other apps that hold personal data. I thought to myself, "what was I doing before to prove my password?" I was using, what now seems barbaric and so “last year”, the typical username and password. Now when I access my medical documentation or check my prescriptions it asks me would I like to use my fingerprint to log in or would I prefer to use my password. In that moment I can't help but laugh and say who would use such a thing as a password, when in a blink of an eye I place my finger on the reader through my phone and I am in! It is becoming a normal part of the everyday ritual of doing something that needs security without thinking twice about what you are doing because it becomes the norm. With the technology today it even asks me if I would like to register a second fingerprint in case the first finger gets caught in a car door or swallowed up by a wood chipper.

If my computer at work could have the reader built in, which some laptops do, while leveraging windows hello, then I would be all set. But that’s another topic for another day. Reality is that not everyone can get their hands-on fingerprint readers, although they are becoming cheaper and cheaper to obtain. For those without a smartphone or laptop with built in fingerprint biometrics, or access to purchase one, there are alternatives with the same seamless experience. Yubikeys are my personal second go to for proving my identity at work or on my personal devices. Typical cost ranges for $20.00 up to $40.00 plus, depending on the model and individual needs. Another method to consider is voice biometric if the first two are not in play. Don’t worry no singing is required although some of the phrases are best kept in a quiet office space or used when others aren’t around. PortalGuard has many options available with MFA. Learn more about these options here - Strengthen your Account Security with MFA

Overall, a future with passwordless authentication methods is closer than we think. BIO-key, a company with a biometric fingerprint authentication solution, brings up a valid point in their videos: current technology, whether it's fingerprint biometrics or other 2FA methods, are being used today without us realizing it. Passwords have been the norm for so long that we tend to overuse and become lazy when asked to create a new one. Along with poor password policies, the threat of key loggers and other illegitimate threats are just a few accidental clicks away. That is why Multi-Factor is becoming the norm, and Single-Factor Authentication is going away. Now, fingerprint biometrics are one of the easiest and most secure solutions available for going password-less. Making it even harder for those who are looking to gain access and steal identities.

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Tags: Authentication, Compliance, MFA, Multi-Factor Authentication, #passwords, Two-Factor Authentication, #YubiKey, Duo, password habits, security risk, FIDO, Biometrics, fingerprint readers, end-users, cost-effective, password requirements, brute-force attacks, voice recognition, web-key, BIO-key International

Jay Ouellette

Author: Jay Ouellette