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World Economic Forum (WEF) Report Emphasizes Passwordless Authentication Amidst COVID-19

From large scale breaches to mere credential stuffing, passwords have always remained on the hitlist of cybercriminals. From two-factor to multi-factor authentication to FIDO, various methods have emerged for protecting user accounts. Nonetheless, it still remains impossible to ensure fool-proof password security. That’s why cybersecurity experts have long been advocating for use of alternate authentication methods. And recently, the World Economic Forum (WEF) has shared a detailed report emphasizing the importance of passwordless authentication.

Given the rising dependency of people on the internet due to the COVID-19 pandemic, World Economic Forum (WEF) highlighted the significance of passwordless authentication.

In a recent article, William Dixon, Head of Operations, Centre for Cybersecurity, World Economic Forum, and Ori Eisen, Founder and CEO, Trusona, shared how ditching passwords may help in reducing breaches and enhancing account security.

According to the WEF white paper on Passwordless Authentication published in January 2020, the use of passwords has been around for decades. Nonetheless, in the present-day tech scenario, the conventional use of passwords has become a major cybersecurity risk. With passwordless technologies, businesses may achieve more benefits with better account security. Some of the key benefits include,

  • Enhanced security – since there would be no passwords for hackers to steal.
  • Reduced costs – that companies would otherwise spend on enhancing cybersecurity, fulfilling penalties related to data breaches, and improving password management.
  • Better user experience – as there would be minimal user friction, which assures satisfied customers.
  • Increases usability – because the customers would no longer have to go through the hassle of inputting passwords.

Though, the advocates of passwordless authentication have been stressing its importance for quite some time now we still see enterprises using this conventional security measure.

Talking about why passwords have succeeded to remain popular even today, Robert Griffin, CEO MIRACL, a London-based security firm, commented,

It is true that with the growth of password attacks, identity fraud, online regulation (including GDPR), the problem has grown much bigger but fundamentally they still exist for 4 reasons:

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