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Use of passkeys expands as passwordless authentication push advances

Categories Access Control  |  Biometrics News
Use of passkeys expands as passwordless authentication push advances

The drive for a passwordless near-future continues as passkeys are increasingly being adopted as authenticators for different sign-in purposes.

Reports suggest this authentication method is coming with Microsoft’s Windows 11 operating system, for Nintendo gaming accounts, device switching for messaging giant WhatsApp, as well as for access to many other supported websites and mobile applications.

Passkeys are secure authentication credentials different from passwords and are based on personal characteristics such as biometrics which either allow or deny access to digital systems, networks or physical facilities.

Windows 11 to come with passkey sign-in

It will be possible to access accounts, websites and other applications using biometrics-enabled passkeys created with Windows Hello on the Windows 11 operating system when it goes live on September 26, Mashable reports.

Users can employ their face or fingerprint biometrics, or a Microsoft PIN, to access their passkey, in what has been described as a steady shift by Microsoft away from passwords which remain vulnerable to hacks and interceptions.

Pert the report, this move, which was announced recently during the Microsoft Surface event, is possible thanks to the company’s partnership with the FIDO Alliance, a platform championing the passwordless future campaign.

The introduction of passkeys and other more secure ways of login like biometrics and two-factor authentication nonetheless, the password option will remain, the company says. That does not necessarily apply to Hello for Business customers, with Microsoft allowing IT teams to disable the password option for enterprise end-users.

Microsoft has informed its customers that sign-in using passkeys on its Windows 11 operating system will work for supported websites such as Github, DocuSign, and PayPal.

Nintendo Account adds passkey login

Japanese video gaming company Nintendo has announced that its account holders now have the alternative to log into their accounts using a passkey based on native mobile device biometrics.

As 9to5 Mac reports, account holders have been able to register a passkey with their account for sign-in purposes using biometrics on supported personal devices for a couple of days now. This is in addition to the existing sign-in methods with are their email address or their sign-in ID and password.

In a document explaining the move, as quoted by 9to5 Mac, Nintendo says using passkey comes with an “additional layer of security that can help prevent unauthorized access to the account.”

Nintendo adds that the passkey authentication system for their account supports iPhone with iOS 16 or newer, iPad with iPadOS 16 or newer, Mac computer with macOS 13 or newer, and Android devices with Android OS 9 and above.

WhatsApp beta tests passkeys for device switching

As part of its efforts to strengthen security on the widely-used messaging app, WhatsApp says it has enabled sign-in using passkeys on its beta channel.

According to Android Police, beta users will be able to sign in with their face or fingerprint biometrics, or screen lock password or pattern, when switching devices, or when setting up the app on a new phone.

The Meta-owned app has been working on the new feature since August, and it will be accessible to more users in the next few weeks, the outlet mentions.

Recently, WhatsApp also added a biometrics-based chat lock feature to enhance the security of private chats.

1Password rolls out passkeys for web, mobile sign-in

Users of 1Password, the multipurpose password manager, can now sign into a number of websites and mobile applications using a passkey.

In a blog post, 1Password says users can now sign in with passkeys using its desktop browser or on iOS 17 and iPadOS 17 devices. A beta test for passkeys by 1Password was announced in July.

The password manager has told its users to check with its online directory which of their logins can go with passkeys which it describes as “the future of account security.”

1Password says sign-in with passkeys for Android devices using its platform will be available soon.

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