You Can Now Ditch the Password on Your Microsoft Account

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although completely With a passwordless future still a way off, you’ll soon be able to take a big step in that direction by simply putting a password on your Microsoft account. The company today announced that the password-free features previously provided to corporate customers will now be available to all.

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Over the next few weeks, Microsoft will roll out support for passwordless living in the Microsoft Authenticator app and the biometric-based Hello login service for Windows. You’ll be able to set things up so that you can use a biometric such as a fingerprint or face scan, a hardware authentication token, or a verification code sent to your phone or email as a substitute for a password. Like your old login, the new system will let you—and more than a billion other Microsoft account holders—access services like Office 365 and OneDrive.

Vasu Jakkal, Microsoft’s corporate vice president of security, compliance, identity and management, says, “Identity and password theft has resulted in an increase in the number of cyber attacks – as defenders we really have our work cut out for us in this asymmetric game.” Have given.” “Without the password you get advanced security and it’s super easy. It’s just a slam dunk.”

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Passwordless schemes use things like biometrics (something you are) or hardware security keys (something you have) to confirm who you claim to be; In other words, to authenticate you. In contrast, passwords are “something you know”, which becomes a problem when that information is “known” or is guessed by others. In passwordless plans, however, even the security codes sent to your phone are actually “something you know” rather than “something you have,” because they require you to be on your phone during a specific, brief period of time. Requires access to a smartphone.

This conceptual shift makes passwordless systems more secure in many ways, but people have become so accustomed to passwords after using them for decades that it is sometimes difficult to convince them to do something else. If you’ve taken the time to set up a password manager, you might realize that too much trouble has been taken away from the whole situation anyway. and passwordless login is so easy it can perception Less secure simply because there’s less hassle than viewing your webcam or sticking the Yubikey into a USB port for a face scan.

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Even within Microsoft it took years to design and implement an alternative structure that eliminated passwords altogether, rather than just adding more layers of defense on top of them.

Microsoft chief information security officer Brett Arsenault says, “I remember it was 2017 and we started talking about what would happen if we changed course to eliminate passwords instead of improving multifactor authentication.” Huh.” “I was sitting there thinking, is this just a copy of the words that someone came from marketing? And then I thought, well, if we really wanted to eliminate passwords, what would we do differently? It literally turned on like a lightbulb. “

Microsoft says it has more than 200 million passwordless users from its enterprise rollout. And the company isn’t the only tech giant that offers options to log in with a password. However, this has special implications given the ubiquity of Windows and Office 365, both among corporate customers and individuals.

To make your Microsoft password expire forever, download the Microsoft Authenticator app and link it to your Microsoft account. Then go to account.microsoft.com, select sign in, and then advanced security options. under extra security Search passwordless account and tap turn on. Follow the prompts and then approve the change from the Authenticator app.

That’s all. There is an option to add your password back if you want to reverse the process. But who will miss?

“You might think everyone hates passwords, but there’s a bunch of people who love passwords,” Arsenault says. “They are called criminals.”


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