Will Passkey Technology Replace Passwords?


Tired of having to always remember your account name and password to sign into apps and websites?  Furthermore, the use of passwords presents a problem given they are often not secure in length, complexity or storage location (sticky notes, spreadsheet).   

Keep reading to learn about how passkey technology is becoming an efficient solution to replacing passwords.

What Are the Weaknesses of Passwords?

Susceptible to Fishing, Harvesting, Replaying

Attackers can use automated tools to guess passwords—weak passwords are particularly susceptible to brute-force attacks. Also, scammers can send fraudulent emails or create fake websites that mimic legitimate ones to trick users into revealing their passwords. Attackers can compromise databases containing passwords, leading to the exposure of users’ credentials. Data breaches have become all too common. Passwords transmitted over insecure networks can be intercepted and replayed by attackers to gain unauthorized access to accounts.

Hassle to Use and Remember

With the increasing number of online services requiring passwords, users often struggle to remember multiple complex passwords. This leads to poor password hygiene, such as writing down passwords or storing them insecurely.

What Are Passkeys?

Passkey technology was proposed by the FIDO Alliance, an open industry association that aims to develop solutions to help diminish the dependency on passwords. The FIDO Alliance aims to develop stronger authentication methods to replace passwords, and passkeys are a user-friendly and secure authentication method.

How Do Passkeys Work?

When the user is prompted to sign in to an app or website, they use the same biometric or PIN that they use to unlock their device (phone, computer, or security key). This mechanism can be used by the app or website in place of the conventional (and unsafe) username and password.

Passkey technology is built on public key cryptography principles, which makes it inherently more secure.  With public key cryptography there is a public key and a private key.  These are set up to be associated with a device that wants to verify its identity.  Private keys are kept secret. To gain access to encrypted data, a private key must be matched with the associated public key, resulting in that data being decrypted. 

Advantages of Passkeys

Enhanced User Experience

The user experience will be consistent and familiar across many of the user’s devices, requiring only a quick verification of their face, fingerprint, or device PIN; the same quick action that consumers perform numerous times daily to unlock their devices.

Increased Security

Passkeys are built on FIDO authentication, which has been shown to be secure against remote threats like phishing and credential stuffing. Additionally, service providers can provide passkeys as a substitute for passwords for account recovery.

Opportunities for Scalability

With passkeys, users can avoid enrolling a fresh FIDO credential (which would typically require a password for the initial sign-in) on every service or every new device. Even if they change their device, the users’ passkeys are always accessible. For organizations that demand additional proof of the ownership of a user’s passkeys, device-bound passkeys without syncing are an option.

Passkey technology presents an exciting future for secure and user-friendly authentication. As the FIDO Alliance continues to refine and promote passkey standards, we expect to see increased adoption by major players in the tech industry. This technology has the potential to replace traditional passwords and alleviate the security concerns associated with them.

At BSC Solutions Group, we are proud to offer a wide range of services and solutions to help organizations with their cybersecurity protections in Mississauga, Brampton, and the Greater Toronto Area. Contact us for a consultation today.