Microsoft's Windows Hello Takes Another Step Towards a Password-Less Future
The idea of using strong and secure passwords makes sense on paper but in practice, it’s not always practical. From users creating weak passwords to sharing login information, passwords have their strengths but the weaknesses are also significant.
Microsoft has been on a crusade to move towards a password-less future and has gone so far to even say that changing your passwords frequently is no longer a best practice. To help push the industry forward, with the Windows 10 May 2019 update, Windows Hello will achieve FIDO2 certification.
What this means is that when using a supported browser like Edge and Firefox, Chrome is not specifically mentioned but it looks like support will arrive by the end of the year, you will be able to login to your Microsoft account using Windows Hello instead of a password.
Say Goodbye to Traditional PC Lifecycle Management
Traditional IT tools, including Microsoft SCCM, Ghost Solution Suite, and KACE, often require considerable custom configurations by T3 technicians (an expensive and often elusive IT resource) to enable management of a hybrid onsite + remote workforce. In many cases, even with the best resources, organizations are finding that these on-premise tools simply cannot support remote endpoints consistently and reliably due to infrastructure limitations.
Windows Hello is included in all newer Surface products and many other OEM devices have support for the platform with fingerprint readers too. There are also third-party devices that you can attach to a laptop or PC that can utilize Windows Hello as well for biometric login support as well.
While this solution for accessing your Microsoft account doesn’t fully replace the needs for passwords, it is a more secure way to control who has access to your content. And hopefully, with Microsoft pushing this mechanism forward, other companies will join the party and enable Windows Hello authentication for their services to reduce the impact next time a website has its database compromised.
If the device you are using does not have Windows Hello support, another option to help with securing your passwords is to use a password manager. There are many popular choices like 1Password and LastPass that can help you organize and use stronger passwords without having to memorize a new string of text for each website where you need to authenticate