Passwordless sign-in coming for all Microsoft accounts
Microsoft has announced that a feature enabling users to log into their accounts using more secure and convenient authentication methods, with passwordless multifactor authentication (MFA) rolling out in the coming weeks.
According to a blog post by the company’s Corporate Vice President of Identity, Joy Chik, the move is another step forward in the tech giant’s passwordless journey which has been on for the last couple of years.
When the system rolls out, Microsoft account users will have the option to either continue using their passwords (for those who already have them) or delete them. Also, a new account can be set up without any password, the article notes.
Chik explains that the passwordless account can be established in three easy steps by installing the Microsoft Authentication App and linking it to the account. After that, the user needs to go to the ‘Advanced Security Options’ and then choose ‘Passwordless Account’ to activate the feature. Passwordless authentication for Microsoft accounts can also be performed with MFA through Windows Hello biometrics, a security key, or an email or SMS-based verification code (or one-time password), Microsoft says.
The move, the post notes, is part of a four-step effort to make Microsoft accounts safe from hackers as well as avoid the inconveniences of having to retain complicated passwords.
In order to give insights and perspectives about the passwordless initiative, Microsoft has slated a digital event for October 13 which will bring together industry experts to share their thoughts and ideas for a passwordless world.
Joy Chik said as Microsoft continues to innovate in order to make log-in easier, safer and more convenient for account holders, they will also soon begin work on the elimination of passwords for Azure AD accounts.
Meanwhile, in another blog post titled ‘the passwordless future is here for your Microsoft account,’ Microsoft’s Vice President for Security, Compliance and Identity, Vasu Jakkal, explains the merits of a passwordless sign-in.
He also highlights the inconveniences and vulnerabilities that go with using a password and notes statistics showing that password compromises are responsible for major cyber security breaches for enterprise and individual accounts.