Covering Disruptive Technology Powering Business in The Digital Age

Waving Goodbye to Passwords: The Evolution Towards a Secure, Passwordless Future
August 7, 2023 Blog


As beneficial as passwords have been, it’s time to bid them goodbye — a farewell to their frustrating rigidity, their ever-looming security vulnerabilities, and their resource-sapping costs. Passwords, an old guard in our digital lives, have overstayed their welcome, as we now find ourselves in a perpetual war with hackers who have weaponised our keystrokes. Our fortress, once impenetrable, now lies exposed to myriad cyber threats. But the battle is far from over, and we are not without options.

Underlying the need to move beyond passwords are three main issues that plague our digital realm: poor account security, dismal user experience, and mounting costs. In today’s vast digital ecosystem, compromised passwords are the prime culprits behind Account Takeover Attacks (ATO).

No wonder then that 59% of Okta’s research respondents have experienced credential theft or phishing. We’ve tried to counter these attacks with Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA), but it too has its Achilles heel. Low assurance second factors, like SMS, are too susceptible to hacking. It’s a sobering fact: “81% of hacking-related breaches used either weak or stolen passwords,” Gus Shahin, CIO of Flex, astutely observes.

So, where do we go from here?

Moving beyond the confines of passwords isn’t a journey into the unknown. There are already common approaches being utilised today that offer a glimmer into the passwordless future:

  1. Email Magic Links: This method, already popularised by apps like Slack and Medium, is akin to an advanced password reset flow. A time-limited or user lifecycle-limited, single-use link is sent to the user’s email, bypassing the need for a password entirely.
  2. Factor Sequencing: With Okta Adaptive MFA’s contextual awareness and ThreatInsight intelligence, organisations can configure a passwordless solution using various authentication factors. Depending on the risk level of the login request, different authentication factors may be prompted.
  3. WebAuthn: A standards-based passwordless authentication framework, WebAuthn allows web applications to use registered devices as factors, simplifying and securing user authentication. Supported by major browsers and platforms like Google Android and Windows Hello, WebAuthn is a practical and scalable option.

The path to passwordless is not revolutionary but evolutionary. And Okta is here to guide you on this journey. Leveraging Okta’s solutions, businesses can not only mitigate identity-driven attacks but also deliver delightful user experiences, reduce the organisational burden of password management, and fuel business growth.

To quote the World’s Identity Company, Okta, “We’re building a world where Identity belongs to you.” As we bid farewell to passwords and embrace these innovative methods, we’re not only securing our digital identities but also reclaiming them.

Click here to find out how Okta can help you embark on this transformative journey towards a passwordless future.