September 26, 2021

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Microsoft announces passwordless authentication for consumer accounts

Microsoft announces passwordless authentication for consumer accounts

Microsoft announced that users can access their consumer accounts without providing passwords and using more secure authentication methods.

Microsoft will allow its users to log into their consumer accounts without using passwords, they will be able to use Microsoft’s Authenticator app, Windows Hello, physical security keys, or phone/email verification codes.

“Which is why I’m so excited about today’s announcement that now you can remove the password from your Microsoft account and sign in using passwordless methods like Windows Hello, the Microsoft Authenticator mobile app or a verification code sent to your phone or email,” said Liat Ben-Zur, Corporate Vice President. “This feature will help to protect your Microsoft account from identity attacks like phishing while providing even easier access to the best apps and services like Microsoft 365, Microsoft Teams, Outlook, OneDrive, Family Safety, Microsoft Edge and more.”

Microsoft announces passwordless authentication for consumer accounts

The passwordless login support will be rolled out over the coming weeks, the IT giant announced announced, it will allow to increase the security of the customers account protecting them from different attacks, such as phishing and brute-forcing attacks.

“One of our recent surveys found that 15 percent of people use their pets’ names for password inspiration. Other common answers included family names and important dates like birthdays,” Corporate Vice President for Security, Compliance, and Identity Vasu Jakkal said. “We also found 1 in 10 people admitted reusing passwords across sites, and 40 percent say they’ve used a formula for their passwords, like Fall2021, which eventually becomes Winter2021 or Spring2022.”

In order to use the passwordless authentication process, users will have to access the Advanced Security Options menu in their account and select Passwordless Account after having chosen an alternative authentication method.

Microsoft says the feature will be rolled out over the coming weeks, it already provides passwordless methods to enterprise users since March 2021, and plans to roll out it for Azure AD accounts.

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Pierluigi Paganini

(SecurityAffairs – hacking, passwordless authentication)

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