March 18, 2024

Anonybit Team

Is Zero Trust Passwordless Authentication Secure?


Are you tired of remembering multiple passwords for your accounts? Imagine a world where you never have to stress about creating complex passwords again. Enter the world of Zero Trust passwordless security, where secure access is granted without traditional passwords. In this blog, discover why Zero Trust passwordless is the future of enterprise security. 

What Is Zero Trust Security?

person using Zero Trust Passwordless

Zero Trust is a security strategy emphasizing the importance of verifying all requests for access to resources, regardless of origin. This approach involves authenticating and authorizing based on all available data points, limiting user access, minimizing blast radius, segmenting access, and verifying end-to-end encryption. The Zero Trust model assumes that the network is always threatened and that all requests must be verified.

Adapting Zero Trust to a Mobile Workforce

The modern environment is dynamic and includes a mobile workforce. A Zero Trust approach must adapt to this environment, protecting user accounts, devices, applications, and data wherever they are located.

Comprehensive Zero Trust Strategy for Enhanced Security

A Zero Trust strategy should be comprehensive, extending across the digital estate and serving as an integrated security philosophy and end-to-end strategy. By following the principles of Zero Trust, organizations can enhance their enterprise security posture 

What Is Passwordless Authentication?

Passwordless authentication is a method of verifying a user’s identity without a traditional password. This approach aims to enhance security and improve user experience by eliminating the weaknesses associated with passwords, such as susceptibility to breaches, poor user management, and phishing attacks. Passwordless authentication methods leverage alternative verification techniques, such as biometrics, hardware tokens, and one-time codes.

Biometrics are increasingly favored over other types of passwordless authentication because they’re virtually impossible for hackers to imitate, and they reduce user friction. Some examples of biometric authentication include selfies, voiceprints, fingerprint scans, and palm scans.

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Why Use Passwordless Authentication?

person on his macbook - Zero Trust Passwordless

Realistically, passwordless authentication is simply more secure than password-based authentication. While businesses have relied on passwords for decades, they’re no longer considered a secure way to protect our accounts and corporate networks.  A FIDO Alliance press release explains that passwords pose a major security risk: “Managing so many passwords is cumbersome for consumers, often leading consumers to reuse the same ones across services.

In addition, 44% of employees reuse passwords across personal and work-related accounts. Most passwords are extremely easy to guess, so hackers have long favored password attacks to breach corporate networks or personal accounts.

Many different password attack methods exist, but the most common are:

Brute-force attacks

This hacking method uses trial and error to crack passwords, typically using lists of common passwords or leaked passwords obtained from the dark web.

Surgical attacks

These are a type of targeted attack where the hacker researches the intended victim, scouring their public accounts to find key details like their birthday, favorite sports team, hobbies, names of their children, etc., that the user may use in passwords.

Phishing/Social engineering

Here, cybercriminals pose as a trusted entity like a well-known company or another employee and trick the target into sharing their login details via a fraudulent login screen. 

Credential Stuffing

Attackers use lists of compromised credentials from previous breaches to try to gain access to accounts on different websites, exploiting users who reuse passwords across multiple sites.

Other methods include sending emails with a malicious link that automatically installs key-logging malware on the victim’s computer.

Reducing Cybersecurity Risks with Passwordless Authentication

Passwordless authentication eliminates or vastly reduces the risk of falling victim to these attacks. There are also other reasons to move away from passwords. For example, passwordless authentication is more convenient for workers because it leverages something the user has or something inherent to them, eliminating the need for them to remember anything. This also means employees can log into devices and applications faster.

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The Rising Zero Trust Security Model Adoption & Implementation

people in a futuristic environment - Zero Trust Passwordless

Organizations, including government agencies, are increasingly adopting zero-trust security measures to enhance their cybersecurity posture and protect their critical assets from cyber threats. According to recent statistics, 72% of organizations are adopting Zero Trust or have already implemented it. This surge in adoption can be attributed to the robust security advantages that Zero Trust offers, making it a top priority for 90% of organizations in terms of IT and security initiatives.

Reducing Data Breach Costs with Zero Trust Security

One of the main reasons for the growing popularity of Zero Trust security is its potential to reduce the cost of a data breach significantly. Companies leveraging Zero Trust network segmentation, a key component of Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA), are also twice as likely to avoid critical outages caused by security incidents. This demonstrates Zero Trust’s ability to enhance organizational resilience and protect sensitive information effectively.

Enhancing Security for Remote Work with Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA)

Continuous authentication is becoming crucial with the increasing trend of remote working and distributed workforces. Zero-trust network Access (ZTNA) technologies are vital in securely granting remote users access to internal applications. As a result, ZTNA is becoming indispensable for organizations looking to strengthen their cybersecurity defenses in the digital age. By adopting a zero-trust security approach, organizations can mitigate cybersecurity risks, enhance operational efficiency, and effectively protect their critical assets from cyber threats.

How Does Passwordless Authentication Fit With Zero Trust?

man showing benefits of Zero Trust Passwordless

Passwordless authentication is a valuable tool for organizations seeking to bolster security. It offers a secure alternative to traditional passwords through biometrics or other verification forms. Passwordless authentication plays a key role in reducing the risk of unauthorized access in a zero-trust security framework.

Zero-trust security is a model based on the principle of least privilege, in which users must verify their identities at every step of their interaction with a network. By combining passwordless authentication with Zero-Trust security, organizations can significantly enhance their security posture by ensuring people are who they claim to be when they access workforce applications and sensitive areas on a network.

Streamlining the Authentication Process with Passkeys

Passkeys can simplify the authentication process for users by eliminating the need for passwords. Whether using biometric authentication, security keys, or other passwordless methods, Passkeys help streamline authentication while maintaining high security.

Passkeys replace traditional passwords, allowing organizations to reduce the risk of credential theft. In combination with other security measures, Passkeys provide a robust defense against unauthorized access in various scenarios.

Enhancing Security through Multi-factor Authentication

While passwordless authentication is a powerful security measure, it is essential to consider additional layers of security. For example, multi-factor authentication (MFA) can further enhance security by requiring users to verify their identities using multiple methods.

By combining biometrics with MFA, organizations can create a comprehensive security framework that protects against various threats. This approach is especially effective in scenarios where the risk of unauthorized access is high, such as when a device is lost or stolen.

The Role of Passwordless Authentication in a Zero Trust Security Model

Passwordless authentication and zero-trust security are complementary strategies that enhance security. In a zero-trust environment, every user, device, and connection is a potential threat. By implementing passwordless authentication alongside a Zero-Trust security model, organizations can effectively manage risk and prevent unauthorized access.

This approach ensures that users verify their identities at every step of their interaction with a network, significantly reducing the risk of unauthorized access. Passwordless authentication enhances security while providing a seamless user experience, making it an essential component of any modern security strategy.

Why A Zero Trust Passwordless Security Model Is the Way Forward

man using his phone on the street - Zero Trust Passwordless

Passwords are weak forms of security and make your Zero Trust program slow, more expensive, and less effective. Passwords require more tools and resets, which drive up costs. Additional tools demand more administrators, new user licenses, and often more training for users and the help desk. All of these factors result in a more expensive security program.

Addressing Security Gaps in Legacy Systems and MFA

Companies that use passwords in conjunction with MFA often still have security gaps. This is typically because legacy systems don’t play well with some MFA tools, leaving specific corporate systems protected only by passwords. There can also be MFA gaps in workstation login, VPNs, RDPs, and VDIs or IoT devices where passwords are the default.

Reducing Costs by Eliminating Passwords

There are resource constraints involved with managing robust password-based security. IT and security teams are often understaffed and overwhelmed, and the current cybersecurity skills gap exacerbates this problem. Rising economic uncertainty puts more pressure on businesses of all sizes to reduce their IT budgets and take cost-cutting measures. In this increasingly austere climate, security teams are feeling the pains of passwords more than ever. By removing passwords, organizations can reduce the burden on already over-stretched help desk and IT personnel and give them more time to spend on proactive customer service and cybersecurity measures.

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

Anonybit is a groundbreaking solution that offers a fresh take on security and privacy. Our passwordless system ensures your organization can prevent data breaches and account takeovers. Using decentralized biometrics, we provide an ideal solution for companies looking to improve their security and privacy standards. 

Maximizing Security Budgets for Enterprises

We also focus on helping enterprises make the most of their security budgets. Our team is passionate about creating products that help businesses operate more securely. We aim to help organizations protect themselves from data breaches and account takeovers. This is why we offer security solutions designed to make this possible. 

Commitment to Effective and Efficient Security Solutions

As a company, we are dedicated to ensuring our customers can leverage their security budgets more effectively. The key to this is creating products that are both effective from a data security and fraud prevention standpoint and efficient from a usability standpoint. Our team is made up of subject matter experts who are committed to solving the problem of data breaches and account takeover fraud and have extensive experience working with different-sized enterprises to deliver effective, future-proofed capabilities. Related Reading

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