May 5, 2022, is World Password Day, a day we all use to create awareness around password security. At Microsoft, we choose to celebrate replacing passwords with better and more secure ways to sign in. I can’t think of a better person at Microsoft to represent this journey than Libby Brown, a senior product manager leading our efforts to keep Microsoft Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) customers more secure withpasswordless solutions.
Here’s what I love about Libby’s story: her career has followed a winding path that ended up being the best possible path to the role she has today. Early on, she switched from engineering to public policy and then worked in publishing, product marketing, training, release management, and now product management. She’s spent time at a small publishing firm, at a startup, and at Microsoft. She pushed her way past every career hiccup, and as she moved forward, she gained experience that would later be relevant to her work in ways she had never anticipated.
Today, Libby is in a technical role, calling on everything she’s learned throughout her education and career to build usable experiences that make technology easier for businesses of all sizes. Her focus on usability is crucial; we’ve learned the hard way that unless security experiences are easy for IT administrators to deploy and manage, and easy for users to adopt, people will be reluctant to use them. Our goal is to make passwordless authentication even easier to use than passwords, which are hard to remember and far less secure. With her varied background working on an array of products for an array of different audiences, Libby is the perfect person to lead this charge.
Libby’s interview with Eric Sachs has been edited for clarity and length. We’ve included two video snippets of the interview recording so you can learn more about her unique career journey and perspectives.