Perils to circumvent when shifting to passwordless technology

Dear Readers,

This week’s blog is about how organizations are being forced to move away from passwords. They are specifically asked to justify the costs associated with password support, reevaluating the impact on user experience and, most importantly, justifying whether the password is genuinely doing what it is intended to do – protect the organization from an online attack. Most quickly realize that passwords are antiquated, are a significant cause of
frustration, and, ironically, are risk drivers.

Today, organizations are moving towards passwordless authentication, using advanced technologies such as biometric signatures, hardware tokens, cryptographic keys, or PINS to verify users.

The use of multi-factor authentication is vital, as it ensures that information is only accessed by the intended person, making it harder for cybercriminals to steal. If user data is less
tempting, cyber thieves will go for a different one. Multi-factor authentication is a blend of two different factors. One is usually the username and password, which is something the user knows.

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Perils to circumvent when shifting to passwordless technology

The news is filled with reports relating to account breaches and password being the main cause of it. However, with the recent trend of passwordless culture, many organizations are considering the advantages its secure landscape. Apart from being cost-effective, passwordless login provides a streamlined user experience. It also delivers the required security to protect organization from becoming a victim of cyber-attacks. Remote workforce isn’t slowing down and therefore, organization must do whatever is necessary to protect remote workers, along with the apps and data that they access to.

The shift to passwordless journey requires time. However, the final destination is well worth it. Those responsible for the transition should remain vigilant and attentive that streamlined
changeover takes place. Otherwise, the implementation would be inefficient and below standard.

The path to passwordless isn’t similar for every organization. Not everyone would implement the same approach. While others may opt for FIDO2/Webathon passwordless, some may combine both for an effective hybrid approach. Irrespective of the approach they choose, organization should avoid the common perils that can ensue when shifting to passwordless.

1) Don’t take short-cuts

Legacy method of implementing security measures should be avoided at all cost when going passwordless. Organization rushing towards passwordless implementation, without propertesting and planning, should re-assess their execution strategy. Passwordless technology can feature several products which may be implemented at different time as necessary for different level of users. Regardless of the problems that lie ahead, a company should always be ready and well prepared.

2) Passwordless requires all participants

Going passwordless requires everyone in an organization to participate. It should not be a task solely for the IT department. It brings about a significant upgrade to the organization culture and process, and therefore, requires the involvement of everyone. Solely relying on one department to handle the responsibility will lead to a rough transition and issues for different departments within the organization. When all major players of the organization are involved in passwordless implementation, it ensures maximum user adoption while improving the overall security posture of the company.

3) Don’t skip important implementation due to time limitation

Extreme urgency occurs, especially when responding to a threat or other emergencies. Yet, it is advisable not to skip the initial steps of a project, as they involve in chalking out a plan.
On the other hand, the deployment of single or several pilots for the intended users, will determine the transition’s readiness before executing it for all users. Let’s us now consider few steps before launching a pilot:

  • Confirm the course of passwordless authentication and whether it meets company expectations and working as the per the use case.
  • A test environment to determine the end-to-end connectivity between the system and authentication technology for users should be setup.
  • Organization should verify that authentication criteria are being met as per their requirement.

4) Don’t overlook the communication factor

Training, testing, and communication is a very vital step and shouldn’t be overlooked. Communication is imperative to plan virtual and live events to provide users with in-depth knowledge of solution and processes for users.

5) Take outside help as and when necessary

When implementing passwordless, it is not necessary that the entire process falls in the hand of the organization. Outside help can be taken to guide the company through the path to passwordless. Selecting outside help with relevant experience will make the transition effortless as possible, ultimately quickening a company’s journey to passwordless authentication.

References:

https://www.yubico.com/blog/top-five-pitfalls-companies-should-avoid-when-rolling-out-a-passwordless-strategy/

Security Tips
Steps to keep organizational credential safe