The Password Is Dead, Says Microsoft

Starting to sound like a broken record here, as Microsoft has exclaimed this a couple of times before, but Redmond is adamant that password, as we know it, is already a thing of the past.

Time to kill it, as the company says.

Cybersecurity has been a growing concern for everyone over the past few years, as cybercriminals have discovered and cooked up new types of threats. Lax security poses a severe risk for users and enterprises alike, and at the center of it all are passwords.

Which many people still continue to use, despite the advent and availability of alternative solutions that not only offer more secure authentication, but also are more convenient and easier to use.

One such example is Windows Hello.

As the software titan explains in a lengthy blog post, this technology is now widely used to protect Windows 10 device, and has already proven to be a successful security system — on hardware with Windows Hello capabilities, nearly 70% of users are using it over traditional passwords.

The company also discusses the advantages of replacing passwords with apps like the Microsoft Authenticator that is available on Android and iOS, and provides easy authentication with a PIN or a fingerprint.

Rob Lefferts, director of program management for Windows Enterprise and Security:

“We are encouraging users to try it, and see for themselves that it is easier to use than passwords. I think one of the fears that people have is that new technology is just going to be more complicated, and not realize that we’ve pushed to make it simpler and better.

It will take time for all the parties, all the important websites and all the important line-of-business applications to adopt this technology, and it will take even more time for users, customers and organizations to make the cultural shift required so that people can really live in this new world. But we have the blueprint for accelerating the move away from passwords. The key to success is making sure that the user experience is actually easier and better than what they have with passwords today.”

Noble efforts.

Of course, while Windows Hello is very convenient, Microsoft continues to improve its security. That’s because a recent test by German security researchers showed that the latest version of Windows 10 introduced new features that prevent photo spoofing if the necessary hardware is available.