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Apple, Google, and Microsoft move toward passwordless future

World Password Day saw three of the world’s largest tech companies agreeing on one thing: a passwordless future.

In a joint effort to make the web more secure and usable for all, Apple, Google, and Microsoft declared their plans to expand support for a common passwordless sign-in standard, utilizing the one created by the Fast Identity Online (FIDO) Alliance and the World Wide Web Consortium. The new capability is anticipated to allow websites and apps to offer consistent, secure, and easy passwordless sign-ins for consumers across devices and platforms.

“This new capability stands to usher in a new wave of low-friction FIDO implementations alongside the ongoing and growing utilization of security keys — giving service providers a full range of options for deploying modern, phishing-resistant authentication,” said Andrew Shikiar, executive director and CMO of the FIDO Alliance.

In an email to The Verge , FIDO Alliance president Sampath Srinivas said that the expectation for passkey support to be available across the industry would be “in 2022 and 2023.”

According to Microsoft, there are 921 password attacks every second. This nearly doubled the frequency over the past 12 months. They warned that weak passwords may do more harm than good as attackers continue operations. In the United States alone, 68 percent of people actually use the same password for different accounts.

“Password-only authentication is one of the biggest security problems on the web, and managing so many passwords is cumbersome for consumers, which often leads consumers to reuse the same ones across services,” stated Apple in a press release.

The announcement extends platform implementations to give users two new capabilities for more seamless and secure passwordless sign-ins, as follows:
  • Allow users to automatically access their FIDO sign-in credentials (referred to by some as a “passkey”) on many of their devices, even new ones, without having to reenroll every account.
  • Enable users to use FIDO authentication on their mobile device to sign in to an app or website on a nearby device, regardless of the OS platform or browser they are running.

“We’re excited for what the passkey future holds,” Google said in a statement, “Passwords will continue to be part of our lives as we make this transition, so we’ll remain dedicated to making conventional sign-ins safer and easier through our existing products like Google Password Manager.”

This collective move was commended by the United States Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA).

“Today is an important milestone in the security journey to encourage built-in security best practices and help us move beyond passwords. Cyber is a team sport, and we’re pleased to continue our collaboration,” said CISA director Jen Easterly.

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Avatar for Arius Lauren Raposas

A public servant with a heart for actively supporting technology and futures thinking, responding accordingly to humanity's needs and goals, increasing participation of people in issues concerning them, upholding rights and freedoms, and striving further to achieve more despite our limited capacities. In everything, to God be all the glory.

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