As 2020 draws to a close, the majority of members of us are looking forward to putting this year in the rearview mirror. Since we depend even more on getting online for everything in our lives, we’re more than ready to be done with passwords. Passwords are a hassle to use, and they present security hazards for customers and organizations of all sizes, with an average of one in every 250 corporate accounts compromised each month. According to the Gartner Group, 20 to 50 percent of all assist desk calls are for password resets. The World Economic Forum( WEF ) estimates that cybercrime expenses the world economy $ 2.9 million every minute, with roughly 80 percent of those attacks aimed at passwords.

In November 2019 at Microsoft Ignite, we shared that more than 100 million people were already use Microsoft’s passwordless sign-in each month. In May of 2020, only in time for World Password Day, that number had already grown to more than 150 million people, and the use of biometrics to access work reports is now nearly double what it was then. We’ve drawn strength from our customers’ determination this year and are set to induce passwordless access a reality for all our clients in 2021.

2020: A banner year for passwordless engineering

Infograph describing the passwordless technology achievements in 2020

February: We announced a preview of Azure Active Directory support for FIDO2 security keys in hybrid environments. The Fast Identity Online( FIDO) Alliance is a “cross-industry consortia standards, certifications, and market adoption programs to replace passwords with simpler, stronger authentication.” Following the latest FIDO spec, FIDO2, we enabled users with security keys to access their Hybrid Azure Active Directory( Azure AD) Windows 10 machines with seamless sign-in, rendering procure access to on-premises and cloud resources utilizing a strong hardware-backed public and private-key credential. This expansion of Microsoft’s passwordless capabilities followed 2019 ’s preview of FIDO2 support for Azure Active Directory joined devices and browser sign-ins.

June: I devote a keynote speech at Identiverse Virtual 2020 where I got to talk about how Microsoft’s FIDO2 implementation highlights the importance of industry standards in its implementation of Zero Trust security and is indispensable in enabling fasten ongoing remote work across industries. Nitika Gupta, Principal Program Manager of Identity Security in our squad, showed how Zero Trust is more important than ever for securing data and resources and furnished actionable paces that organizations can take to start their Zero Trust journey.

September: At Microsoft Ignite, the company uncovered the new passwordless wizard available through the Microsoft 365 Admin Center. Delivering a streamlined customer sign-in experience in Windows 10, Windows Hello for Business replaces passwords by mixing strong MFA for an enrolled machine with a PIN or user biometric( fingerprint or facial recognition ). This approach gives you, our customers, the ability to deliver great consumer experiences for your employees, patrons, and collaborators without compromising your security posture.

November: Authenticate 2020, “the first meeting dedicated to who, what, why and how of user authentication, ” featured my boss, Joy Chik, CVP of Identity at Microsoft, as the keynote talker. Joy talked about how FIDO2 is a critical part of Microsoft’s passwordless vision, and the importance of the whole industry working toward great user experiences, interoperability, and having apps everywhere assistance passwordless authentication. November likewise insured Microsoft once again recognized by Gartner as a “Leader” in identity and access handling( IAM ).

MISA members lead the way

The Microsoft Intelligent Security Association( MISA) is an ecosystem of security spouses who have integrated their solutions with Microsoft to better defend against increasingly sophisticated cyber threats. Four MISA members–YubiKey, HID Global, Trustkey, and AuthenTrend–stood out this year for their endeavour to driving passwordless engineering adoption across industries.

Yubico created the passwordless YubiKey hardware to help enterprises achieve the highest level of security at scale.

“We’re providing customers with a convenient, simple, authentication answer for Azure Active Directory.”–Derek Hanson, VP of Solutions Architecture and Alliances, Yubico

HID Global engineered the HID Crescendo family of FIDO-enabled smart cards and USB keys to streamline access for IT and physical workspaces–enabling passwordless authentication anywhere.

“Organizations can now secure access to laptops and cloud apps with the same credentials employees use to open the door to their office.”–Julian Lovelock, VP of Global Business Segment Identity and Access Management Solutions, HID

TrustKey renders FIDO2 hardware and software solutions for endeavours who want to deploy passwordless authentication with Azure Active Directory because: “Users often find innovative ways to circumvent difficult policies, ” commentaries Andrew Jun, VP of Product Development at TrustKey, “which unwittingly creates security holes.”

AuthenTrend utilized fingerprint-authentication technology to the FIDO2 security key and aspires to replace all passwords with biometrics to help people take back ownership of their credentials.

Next stairs for passwordless in 2021

Our team has been working hard this year to join these partners in stimulating passwords a thing of the past. Along with new UX and APIs for managing FIDO2 security keys enabling customers to develop custom answers and tools, we plan to release a converged registration portal in 2021, where all users can seamlessly manage passwordless credentials via the My Apps portal.

We’re aroused about the metrics we tracked in 2020, which indicate a growing adoption of passwordless among organizations and users 😛 TAGEND

Passwordless utilization in Azure Active Directory is up by more than 50 percentage for Windows Hello for Business, passwordless telephone sign-in with Microsoft Authenticator, and FIDO2 security keys. More than 150 million total passwordless customers across Azure Active Directory and Microsoft consumer accounts. The number of consumers utilizing Windows Hello to sign in to Windows 10 devices instead of a password develop to 84.7 percent from 69.4 percentage in 2019.

We’re all hoping the coming year will bring a return to normal and that passwordless access will at least stimulate our online lives a little easier.

Learn more about Microsoft’s passwordless story. To learn more about Microsoft Security answers, visit our website. Bookmark the Security blog to keep up with our expert coverage on security matters. Also, follow us at @MSFTSecurity for the latest news and updates on cybersecurity.

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