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Today, Apple, Google, and Microsoft announced plans to expand support for the common passwordless sign-in standard created by the FIDO Alliance and the World Wide Web Consortium.
In supporting the FIDO standard these vendors will enable billions of consumers to login to devices and online services without the need for passwords, but instead using their finger print, face, or device PIN.
For enterprises, this approach means that employees will be less exposed to phishing attempts and credential theft attacks that have plagued organizations for years, while improving the sign-in experience for the end user.
Modern passwordless approaches
It’s important to note, that while today’s announcement signals Apple, Microsoft, and Google’s commitment to passwordless authentication options, the providers have been gradually experimenting with passwordless login options over the past few years.
For instance, in 2020 Microsoft reported that over 150 million people were using passwordless logins each month, including Windows Hello’s fingerprint and facial recognition to access Azure AD, and the Microsoft Authenticator App to login password-free.
Likewise, last year Apple added passkeys in iCloud Keychain, so users can login to services by confirming their username and verifying themselves with a FaceID or Touch ID.
Now with Google’s announcement that it would be introducing passwordless login options for users by 2023, the era of password-based protection appears to slowly be drawing to an end.
This gradual move away from password based security is unsurprising given the high volume of credential theft, with the number of annual credential spill incidents nearly doubling between 2016 and 2020, which have undoubtedly contributed to the reasons why 92% of organizations believe that passwordless authentication is the future.
A brief look at the passwordless authentication market
As more organizations grow tired of the security weaknesses of passwords, there is a growing demand for secure sign-in solutions, which is driving the growth of the global passwordless authentication market which researchers expect to grow from $12.79 billion in 2021 to a value of $53.64 billion by 2030.
Tech giants like Apple, Microsoft, and Google aren’t the only ones who are experimenting with passwordless approaches to eliminate the prospect of credential theft.
One such provider is Okta, which recently announced total revenue of $1.78 billion, and offers a solution Okta FastPass, which enables users to register their devices to Universal Directory with Okta Verify, so they can sign-in to cloud or on-premise apps and VPNs without the need for a password.
Another provider embracing passwordless sign-ons is Hypr, a company that has raised $70 million in total funding, which offers an MFA solution that users can use to turn their smartphones into a FIDO token and grants the ability to login to the HYPR Desktop MFA client with third party passwordless authentication including Windows Hello, Touch ID, and Yubikey.