Hello! In this Voice of the Independent Software Vendor (ISV) blog series post, we'll talk about passwords—or rather, moving beyond passwords to incorporate security into a passwordless world. The only people who like passwords are bad actors who use them to hack into accounts! Passwordless authentication can protect users and their data from cyber threats. Microsoft has developed solutions like Windows Hello for Business and the Authenticator app, based on FIDO protocols, to help users securely sign in to online services. Here's some of the ground-breaking work we’re doing with our technology partners around passwordless authentication.
Public preview for the latest passwordless innovations
In January 2019, CNET reported one of the largest public data leaks of personal information, which included 21 million passwords. The login credentials appear to have been stockpiled over years. This kind of exposure makes these login credentials unsuitable for ongoing use because they're at much greater risk of being used to take over other accounts. Breaches like this and others led to our involvement with the Fast IDentity Online (FIDO) Alliance, an open industry association launched in February 2013 to develop and promote authentication standards and reduce over-reliance on passwords.
Our partner community is one of our greatest assets, and we’re in conversation with many of you to solve the password dilemma. We had a chance to work with partners selected to join Microsoft Intelligent Security Association (MISA): Feitian Technologies, Yubico, and HID Global. We worked with them to integrate their passwordless authentication solutions with Azure Active Directory (Azure AD). These products are now available for public preview. As our partner Yubico describes it, this is an exciting step forward: “Together, we have been pioneering the future of passwordless logins, and with each new product innovation we are one step closer to making this a reality for millions of users worldwide" says Stina Ehrensvard, CEO and Founder, Yubico.
Early adopters create solutions that meet customer needs
We want to create great experiences for our customers and so do our partners. That’s why we worked to make sure that solutions aligned to what customers told us they wanted. Early adopters like Feitian Technologies, Yubico and HID Global provide different form factors to meet the different needs of customers, including:
Biometrics to keep you secure – a natural way to log-in to an account
NFC and USB security key devices that enable you to access any PC that’s FIDO capable
Smart cards used by enterprises who want to tap badges for identity management
These devices are small and fit into your pocket. Soon, there will be even more options to choose from. Here’s a list of vendors to check out.
Take a test drive; encourage others
Our partners are offering promotions so you can try out their solutions:
FEITIAN is offering the first 500 Microsoft referred clients limited-time promotional discounts of more than 30% for Fingerprint Biometric Passwordless Security Keys. Visit www.FTSafe.com/AzurePublicPreview
These keys can be used for passwordless access to Azure AD and any Microsoft account. Some of the FEITIAN Fingerprint Biometric Passwordless Security Keys can also support personal identity verification (PIV) and one-time passwords (OTP) on demand.
Yubico is offering complimentary YubiKey Starter Kits to organizations with Microsoft 365 customers who are interested in beginning their passwordless journey.
For a limited time, the starter kit includes two multi-protocol YubiKeys, the YubiKey 5 NFC and YubiKey 5C. The YubiKey 5 NFC is compatible with USB-A ports and near field communication (NFC). The YubiKey 5C is compatible with USB-C ports.