The password is one of those problematic things that we have to use to login to our online accounts. Although the password is used as a security measure to secure our accounts, constant breeches and people using dumb passwords like 1234 don’t make the case anymore for passwords.
The future of passwords has always hinged on biometrics and hardware based security devices and Microsoft is keen on this. They announced that you can now sign in to your Microsoft account to online Microsoft services using their Windows Hello system or compatible security key.
Windows Hello is a Windows 10 feature that allows you to use biometrics to login to your PC or even your Windows phone. It uses either a fingerprint or an array of cameras that do facial recognition which will be used to identify you. The TPM (Trusted Platform Module) stores the private key and requires your biometrics to authenticate.
The compatible keys are USB or NFC devices built on the FIDO2 standard that have built in enhanced security that protects your vital credentials that would require a PIN or biometrics to unlock it. The FIDO2 device has its own secure enclave which will store the private key and will require biometric ID to unlock it.
The good news here is that you’ll be able to login to Microsoft services without the need of typing pesky passwords. This will be available when you sign into Microsoft accounts using Microsoft Edge. You’ll login via Windows Hello, the hardware security keys or alternatively using the Microsoft Authenticator app.
This system will go live for users with the latest Windows Update (ver 1809 codemamed ‘October Update’) on Microsoft services like Outlook.com, Office 365, Skype, Cortana, OneDrive, Microsoft Edge, Microsoft Store, Bing and MSN.com.
This will work well with those users who have Windows Hello enabled PCs which sadly is not the majority. The password-less future is here and I’m all for it.