May 02, 2024

Anonybit Team

Complete Guide to Passwordless Security (How it Works and Complete Guide)

Blog phone with secure sign - Passwordless Security

Are you tired of constantly resetting passwords and worrying about security breaches? Say goodbye to traditional passwords with the future of cybersecurity: Passwordless Security. This new technology is the key to protecting your information online, making it harder for hackers to access your accounts. Learn more about passwordless security and how you can start to secure your online experience for your customers with this innovative approach. 

What Is Passwordless Security?

fingerprint impression - Passwordless Security

Passwordless security is an authentication method that verifies a user’s identity without the use of traditional passwords. Instead, it utilizes more secure alternatives such as biometrics (e.g., fingerprint or facial recognition), hardware tokens, or digital credentials like passkeys. This method presents several key benefits for businesses.

Increased Security

One of the key benefits of passwordless security for businesses is the heightened security it provides. Passwords can be easily compromised, stolen, or guessed by cybercriminals. Passwordless authentication eliminates this risk by using cryptographic keys that cannot be stolen or phished, significantly reducing the likelihood of data breaches.

Improved User Experience

Remembering and managing multiple passwords can be a hassle for employees and customers. Passwordless authentication provides a more seamless login process, reducing friction and improving overall user satisfaction.

Cost Savings

Businesses can save on the costs associated with password management, including password resets and IT support. According to Forrester research, companies can spend up to $1 million annually on password-related expenses.

Compliance

Passwordless authentication can help organizations comply with various data privacy and security regulations, such as GDPR, HIPAA, and PCI DSS, which require strong authentication measures.

Scalability

Passwordless solutions scale well, allowing users to authenticate securely to multiple systems without the complexity and risks of managing multiple passwords.

The adoption of passwordless authentication is on the rise, with a survey by the FIDO Alliance and LastPass indicating that 92% of businesses are either currently using or planning to implement passwordless authentication for their workforce. As the digital landscape continues to evolve, businesses must prioritize the implementation of more secure and user-friendly authentication methods to protect their data and maintain a competitive edge.

Passwordless Security vs Traditional Password-based Security

iphone requiring passcode - Passwordless Security

Authentication Factors in Passwordless Security

Passwordless authentication employs possession factors (e.g. one-time passwords, security tokens) or inherence factors (e.g. biometrics like fingerprints, facial recognition) in place of knowledge factors like passwords. This redefines how users gain access to their accounts and secure sensitive information, enhancing security and convenience.

Enhanced Security in Passwordless Security

Passwordless authentication is generally recognized as more secure than traditional passwords, as it is resistant to common hacking tactics such as brute-force attacks, credential stuffing, and keylogging. In contrast, passwords remain a vulnerable target for cybercriminals, with 81% of data breaches involving weak or stolen passwords.

User Experience in Passwordless Security

Passwordless authentication streamlines the user experience by eliminating the need to remember and manage complex passwords. By providing a more convenient login process, passwordless security reduces the frequency of password resets and enhances user satisfaction.

Implementation Complexity in Passwordless Security

While passwordless authentication offers significant benefits, implementing it in-house can be complex and costly compared to traditional password-based systems. Many organizations choose to outsource this process to third-party identity and access management (IAM) providers to streamline the transition.

23 Main Benefits of Implementing Passwordless Security In Your Business

benefits of Passwordless Security

1. Improved Security

Passwordless security eliminates the risk of weak or compromised passwords, significantly improving security across all devices and systems.

2. Enhanced User Experience

Eliminating the need for passwords simplifies the login process, resulting in a more user-friendly and seamless experience for employees and customers.

3. Cost Savings

Reduced password resets and support tickets translate to cost savings for organizations, as it minimizes the resources required for IT support.

4. Increased Productivity

Employees can save time that would be spent on resetting passwords or dealing with login issues, leading to increased productivity and efficiency.

5. Compliance Requirements

Many industries have strict compliance requirements, and passwordless security can help organizations meet these standards with ease.

6. Phishing Prevention

Passwordless security reduces the risk of phishing attacks, as user credentials are not stored in a centralized database that can be compromised.

7. Future-Proofing

As technology evolves, passwordless security is becoming increasingly important, making it a future-proof investment for businesses.

8. Multi-Factor Authentication

Passwordless security often incorporates multi-factor authentication, adding an extra layer of security to protect sensitive data.

9. Reduced Password Fatigue

Remembering and managing passwords can be a draining task for employees, and passwordless security eliminates this burden.

10. Credential Stuffing Prevention

Passwordless security reduces the risk of credential-stuffing attacks, where hackers use stolen credentials to gain unauthorized access.

11. Zero Trust Security

Passwordless authentication aligns with the principles of Zero Trust Security, where trust is never assumed, and strict access controls are enforced.

12. Biometric Authentication

Many passwordless solutions incorporate biometric authentication, offering a more secure and user-friendly alternative to traditional passwords.

13. Risk Mitigation

By eliminating passwords, organizations reduce the risk of data breaches, cyber-attacks, and other security threats that exploit weak or stolen credentials.

14. Password Sharing Prevention

Employees may share passwords for convenience, creating security vulnerabilities, which are eliminated with passwordless security.

15. Third-Party Access

Passwordless security simplifies the process of managing third-party access, ensuring that only authorized users can gain entry.

16. Identity and Access Management Integration

Passwordless security can be seamlessly integrated with identity and access management solutions to streamline security protocols.

17. Security Awareness Training

Organizations can focus security awareness training on other areas besides password best practices, as passwordless security simplifies authentication.

18. Improved User Enrollment

Passwordless security can streamline the onboarding process for new employees, simplifying user enrollment and access management.

19. Ease of Deployment

Passwordless solutions are often easy to deploy across an organization, requiring minimal disruption to existing systems and processes.

20. Remote Work Security

With the rise of remote work, the need for secure authentication methods has increased, making passwordless security a valuable asset.

21. User Privacy

Passwordless security offers increased user privacy, as biometric authentication or other methods do not store passwords that could be accessed by unauthorized parties.

22. Scalability

Passwordless security solutions can scale to accommodate the needs of growing businesses, providing a long-term security solution.

23. Competitive Advantage

Organizations that prioritize security and user experience by implementing passwordless security gain a competitive advantage in their industry.

Complete Guide on How To Implement Passwordless Security Within Your Business

person trying to implement Passwordless Security

When choosing a passwordless authentication solution, ensure it completely eliminates shared secrets like passwords or OTPs, even for fallback scenarios. Look for solutions that support desktop login and web apps, reduce login friction, and streamline the user experience. Solutions that leverage hardware security such as TPM or Secure Enclave to store private keys are ideal.

Seek passwordless solutions that are easy for IT teams to deploy, provide secure authentication for remote workers and offline scenarios, integrate smoothly with major identity providers and devices, and are intuitive for users to adopt. FIDO certification across all components is a key requirement, as it ensures compliance with Zero Trust and regulatory obligations. Opt for solutions that reduce the total cost of ownership (TCO) over time.

Planning and Executing the Transition

To implement passwordless authentication effectively, start by:

  • Assessing your readiness. 
  • Evaluate your current authentication methods, user base, and IT environment to determine the best approach for transitioning to passwordless authentication. 
  • Develop a rollout strategy that involves rolling out the new authentication method in phases, with clear communication and change management practices.
  • Train your employees on the benefits and usage of the new passwordless authentication methods. 
  • Monitor adoption rates, collect user feedback, and track security metrics to optimize your passwordless implementation continuously.

How To Create A Seamless User Transition to Passwordless Security

person learning strategies to implement Passwordless Security

When transitioning to passwordless security, it’s essential to prioritize the critical systems and user groups that require passwordless authentication. By categorizing users based on their access needs and associated risks, businesses can determine the appropriate level of authentication assurance. This approach ensures a seamless transition without disruptions and helps in the effective management of security risks.

Establish a Comprehensive RACI Plan

To ensure a smooth transition to passwordless security, it is crucial to identify all stakeholders involved, including vendors and system integrators. By mapping out the roles, responsibilities, and reporting structures in a RACI (Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, and Informed) plan, clear communication and deliverables can be maintained throughout the transition. This will help in streamlining the process and ensuring everyone involved is on the same page.

Develop a Robust Communication Plan

A robust communication plan is essential for a successful transition to passwordless security. Establishing a baseline and predetermined timeline for progress reviews with key stakeholders ensures that everyone is aware of the transition progress. Providing users with a walkthrough of their new passwordless authentication journey and implementing a feedback loop for continuous improvement will help in fostering user acceptance and adoption.

Leverage Open Standards and Remote Identity Proofing

Adopting open standards-based protocols such as OAuth and OpenID Connect enables seamless integration of passwordless authentication across different systems and platforms. Utilizing remote identity proofing allows businesses to onboard users without in-person verification, making the transition to passwordless security more convenient and efficient.

Provide Comprehensive User Training and Education

Implementing cybersecurity awareness programs and hands-on training is crucial in educating users on the benefits of passwordless authentication. Users need to understand how to effectively use new authentication methods such as biometrics or security keys. Proactive training will ensure smooth adoption of passwordless security and enhance overall cybersecurity posture.

Adopt a Zero Trust Security Model

Integrating passwordless authentication as a core component of a Zero Trust security architecture enhances security measures. This approach eliminates the reliance on traditional perimeter-based security and continuously verifies user and device identity, reducing the risk of password-related breaches. By adopting a Zero Trust security model, businesses can enhance their overall security posture and effectively combat evolving cybersecurity threats.

4 Tips On Training Your Employees on Best Practices for Using Passwordless Security

person training employee - Passwordless Security

1. Educate on the benefits of passwordless authentication

Explain to your employees how passwordless authentication can enhance security, improve user experience, and reduce IT support costs. Emphasize the advantages over traditional password-based systems, such as eliminating password fatigue and the risks of stolen credentials.

2. Provide hands-on training for passwordless methods

Demonstrate how to use different passwordless authentication factors like biometrics, security keys, and email magic links. Ensure employees are comfortable with the new login process and understand the steps involved.

3. Emphasize password best practices during the transition

While moving towards passwordless, continue to enforce strong, unique passwords and prohibit password reuse. Encourage the use of a password manager to securely store credentials.

4. Implement multi-factor authentication (MFA)

Adopt MFA as an intermediate step before fully transitioning to passwordless. This adds an extra layer of security and prepares employees for the eventual shift

11 Best Passwordless Security Authentication Software Solutions

Bot holding a pill - Passwordless Security

1. Anonybit: An Integrated Identity Management Platform

At Anonybit, we help companies prevent data breaches and account takeover fraud with our decentralized biometrics features. With our passwordless authentication with decentralized biometrics, companies can leverage biometrics for  login feature, wire verification, step-up authentication, and help desk authentication and other similar use cases. 

Enhancing Security with Biometric and PII Data Protection

We are on a mission to protect companies from data breaches, account takeover and fraud. Biometrics are the only way to achieve this as they are the only way to bind a person to their identity and be sure that someone is who they claim to be. Beyond passwordless authentication, our security solution also supports:

  • Secure storage of biometrics and PII data
  • 1:N matching for blocklist checks, synthetic identity checks and deduplication
  • Integration to digital onboarding solutions as well as a variety of orchestration platforms

Balancing Privacy and Security with Anonybit’s Identity Management Platform

With its decentralized infrastructure design, the Anonybit Genie is unique in its ability to nonybit eliminates the tradeoffs between privacy and security. Prevent data breaches, enable strong authentication, eliminate account takeovers, and enhance the user experience across the enterprise using Anonybit. Book a free demo today to learn more about our integrated identity management platform.

2. Prove Auth: A Frictionless Authentication Solution

Prove Auth is a passwordless authentication solution that enables frictionless authentication from any channel, preventing account takeovers and detecting fraud. Pricing is based on an unlimited-use model, allowing cost reduction and deployment across use cases, with features like FIDO2 web-based authentication, device intelligence, and biometric authentication.

3. Thales SafeNet Trusted Access: Enterprise Identity and Access Management

Thales SafeNet Trusted Access is an enterprise identity and access management solution that combines features such as single sign-on (SSO) and multi-factor authentication (MFA) to prevent data breaches while eliminating passwords.

The solution is offered with three subscription plans, with the higher-level plans including all the features of the lower-level plans, such as various authentication methods, policy management, and user self-service capabilities.

4. ManageEngine ADSelfService Plus: Comprehensive Identity Security Solution

ManageEngine ADSelfService Plus is a comprehensive identity security solution that enables passwordless authentication to secure access to enterprise resources. The solution starts at $595 annually for 500 domain users and offers features like adaptive multi-factor authentication, single sign-on, and advanced password management capabilities.

5. Cisco Duo For Enterprise: Comprehensive Passwordless Security Solution

Cisco Duo is a comprehensive enterprise passwordless security solution that starts at $3 per user per month. It offers FIDO2 biometric authentication, Duo Push mobile app, MFA, SSO, device-based access policies, and user group access policies.

The $9 per user per month Premier plan adds advanced features like risk-based authentication, adaptive access policies, complete device visibility, device health checks, threat detection, and zero trust network access (ZTNA) for secure, VPN-less remote access.

6. HID Advanced MFA: Industry-Leading Multi-Factor Authentication

HID DigitalPersona is an industry-leading multi-factor authentication (MFA) solution that provides passwordless desktop authentication. It supports a wide range of authentication methods including biometrics, mobile devices, smart cards, and security keys, and starts at $2 per user per month.

7. Microsoft Entra ID: Passwordless Authentication Options

Microsoft Entra ID offers passwordless authentication options like Windows Hello for Business, Microsoft Authenticator, and FIDO2 security keys, which provide a more secure and convenient login experience for users.

The Entra ID Free edition includes basic passwordless options for Windows devices, while the paid Premium editions offer additional features like certificate-based authentication and support for non-Windows platforms.

8. Okta Workforce Identity: Seamless Passwordless Authentication

Okta’s Workforce Identity Cloud offers passwordless authentication through features like Adaptive MFA, which costs $6 per user per month. This allows organizations to secure access to applications and resources without relying on traditional passwords, enhancing security while providing a seamless user experience.

9. OneLogin: Secure and Convenient Alternative

OneLogin’s passwordless security solution starts at $2 per user per month and provides a secure, convenient alternative to traditional passwords. It combines biometric authentication, adaptive multi-factor authentication, and advanced cryptography to eliminate the need for passwords and protect against fraud, phishing, and credential reuse.

10. Ping Identity PingOne for Workforce: Secure Access for Employees

Ping Identity’s PingOne for Workforce offers a passwordless security solution that enables seamless and secure access for employees across any device or application. The Essential plan starts at $3 per user per month and includes no-code identity orchestration, single sign-on, and secure user management, while the Plus plan at $6 per user per month adds adaptive multi-factor authentication and risk-based access controls.

11. RSA SecurID: Multifactor Authentication Solution

RSA SecurID is a multifactor authentication solution that uses a combination of something the user knows (like a PIN or password) and something the user has (like a hardware token or a mobile app) to enhance security. While RSA SecurID does not offer a passwordless solution, it is priced based on the number of users and the level of support required.

Book A Free Demo To Learn More About Our Integrated Identity Management Platform

At Anonybit, we help companies prevent data breaches and account takeover fraud with our decentralized biometrics features. With our passwordless authentication with decentralized biometrics, companies can leverage biometrics for  login feature, wire verification, step-up authentication, and help desk authentication and other similar use cases. 

Enhancing Security with Biometric and PII Data Protection

We are on a mission to protect companies from data breaches, account takeover and fraud. Biometrics are the only way to achieve this as they are the only way to bind a person to their identity and be sure that someone is who they claim to be. Beyond passwordless authentication, our security solution also supports:

  • Secure storage of biometrics and PII data
  • 1:N matching for blocklist checks, synthetic identity checks and deduplication
  • Integration to digital onboarding solutions as well as a variety of orchestration platforms

Balancing Privacy and Security with Anonybit’s Identity Management Platform

With its decentralized infrastructure design, the Anonybit Genie is unique in its ability to nonybit eliminates the tradeoffs between privacy and security. Prevent data breaches, enable strong authentication, eliminate account takeovers, and enhance the user experience across the enterprise using Anonybit. Book a free demo today to learn more about our integrated identity management platform.

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