7 Benefits of Passwordless Authentication

7 Benefits of Passwordless Authentication

benefits of passwordless authentication

What are the Benefits of Passwordless Authentication?

Passwordless authentication benefits come in many forms but before we get into the weeds on that we will give a short overview of what passwordless authentication is for those that don’t know already and then dive right into it.

What is Passwordless Authentication?

As the name suggests, passwordless authentication is a process that verifies a person’s identity using something else other than passwords in order to complete the verification process. Some of the information that the user is required to submit in passwordless authentication include:

  • An SMS or app-generated code
  • Secret PIN
  • Biometric data such as fingerprint and voice recognitions
  • One Time Password (OTP)
  • PKI based personal authentication certificates

Passwordless authentication process usually requires two cryptographic keys, one that is public, and one that is private. The public key is hosted by the system or the application that the user is trying to access while the private key is usually unique to the individual user. Access can only be granted if both the private key and the public match. This means that the public key is useless without the private key, thus making it extremely difficult to hack.

Password authentication can easily be used by hackers using brute force attacks. They can also buy lists of breached passwords on the black market and use them to acquire an individual password. More so passwords are hard to remember and very easy to misplace. The reason why many organizations are switching to passwordless authentication is that it is much harder for hackers to manipulate because of how unique they are to the individual user.

Now onto the Benefits of Passwordless Authentication

1. Protection against password list and phishing

One of the main benefits of passwordless authentication is protection against password lists and phishing. Phishing is a fraudulent practice of sending emails purporting to be from a reputable company to trick an individual to reveal personal information such as credit card numbers and passwords. The hacker can also use password lists that are for sale from previous compromise services to gain access to your system. Using passwordless authentication neutralizes the chance of them being compromised using any of these black hat techniques. Passwordless authentication requires the user to reveal both public and private keys, which are very difficult for hackers to gain access to.

2. It enhances user experience

Another benefit of passwordless authentication is that it provides a secure and seamless user experience. Passwordless authentication will allow your employee and customers to access services without the need to memorize long, complex passwords.

A report by NordPass revealed that an average person about between 70-80 passwords. This makes it very difficult to remember all those passwords. More so, most systems require the user to generate complex passwords that are difficult to hack, thus making this even more difficult for users. With passwordless authentication, you don’t need to save your password on your notebook or memorize them to access the system; all you need to do is enter your biometric information, ID, or OTP and you are good to go.

Most users usually abandon their shopping carts while shopping online when they discover that they are required to log in to their account and yet they don’t remember their passwords. Passwordless authentication is not only more secure but also allows users to access services that they are looking for quickly and easily. This is important especially for businesses because it increases the chances of the customer buying products and even making return purchases.

3. Password theft is not possible with passwordless authentication

With passwordless authentication, you no longer again have to worry about password theft. This is because passwords that are mostly targeted by hackers will no longer be part of the equation. Other more secure techniques such as the use of biometrics and OTP which provide much greater security will be used. It will thus be difficult for someone to access another user’s account using stolen passwords. In fact, having someone’s password will not be of use because you will still not be able to access the account unless you have private keys such as OTP which are unique to the user.

4. It protects against brute force attacks

Brute force attacks have become very popular in recent times and the best way to protect your business and your customers against such an attack is by switching to passwordless authentication. A brute force attack is a fraudulent technique that uses trial and error to guess the login information of users. Hackers use all possible combinations to gain unauthorized access to an organization’s system and network or an individual account. When you switch to Passwordless authentication, brute force attacks will become a thing of the past because users will no longer rely on passwords as their line of defense.

5. It enhances your cyber security posture

If you run a business, then one of your main objectives is to ensure that your employee’s passwords are safe and secure. If one of your staffs password gets hacked, the hacker can do any of the following:

  • Access confidential data and files
  • Access email accounts
  • Gain access to the business network
  • Post offensive messages on the company’s social media platforms to dent its reputation
  • Leak sensitive information
  • Carry out financial fraud
  • And more.

However, you can protect your company against all these by switching to passwordless authentication like using the PKI client certificates which guarantees that only authorized staff gain access to the company’s system. The PKI certificate client-based authentication uses public key infrastructure as opposed to passwords, PINs, and OTPs. This makes it incredibly difficult for hackers to gain access to your system.

6. Password authentication is cost-effective

Besides enhancing your organization’s security, on the benefits of passwordless authentication is also it is cost-effective. Using this technique means that you will no longer have to worry about phishing. Additionally, you will not incur the cost of monitoring and maintaining passwords for your users, thus bringing your cost.

With the business environment becoming more and more competitive, businesses are looking for ways to improve their efficiency and cut down operational costs. There is no better way to do that than switching to passwordless authentication. This way, you will not again spend money on password management, reset, and storage. More so, your IT department will also focus on other more important things that will improve the company’s productivity, rather than focusing on compliance with password storage laws and regulations.

Data from HYPR revealed that 78% of users reset their passwords if they don’t use their accounts for 90 days. According to Okta’s report, a single reset of a password costs companies an average of $70 and about 30,000 loss of productivity each year. You can avoid all these by switching to passwordless authentication.

7. Improved productivity

Another important benefit of passwordless authentication is that it helps to improve employee productivity. Study shows that employees’ productivity usually lowers when they are asked by their employers to generate solid and complex passwords frequently to improve security. Generating complex passwords all the time usually makes employees more frustrated since they have to memorize a series of complex passwords. However, with passwordless authentication, employees’ productivity will increase tremendously because they don’t have to remember multiple complex passwords.

Conclusion

If you are planning to switch from password to passwordless authentication and wondering whether you are making the right decision, we hope that you now have the answer. Moving to passwordless authentication is one of the best decisions you can ever make for your business. It will not only enhance the security of your staff and customers but will also improve the productivity of your employees, improve customer experience as well as lower your operational costs because the company will not have to deal with password rests and maintenance.