Published in News

Microsoft kicks out passwords

by on16 September 2021

You just need your mobile to open your PC

Software King of the World Microsoft won’t require you, or your password manager, to come up with strings of letters, numbers, and special characters to access the Windows giant’s services.

This is not as cool as it sounds as Microsoft’s software is not telepathic, it just means you can  delete the password from your Microsoft account, and login using the Microsoft Authenticator app, Windows Hello, a security key, or a verification code sent to your cellphone or email inbox.

The argument is that, for example, you need to not only have your phone in your hand, but you must also be able to unlock it to run the authenticator app and then use your fingerprint or PIN to get into your account – and there’s your multi-factor authentication.

In 2004, party animal Bill Gates predicted the death of passwords – and as recently as March, it made passwordless authentication in Azure Active Directory generally available. Now it’s coming to Microsoft accounts and associated apps and services, plus or minus some caveats.

Of course it is a lot easier for those who forget  passwords, assign obvious ones, and reuse their favourites.

Redmond VP Vasu Jakkal said that weak passwords are the entry point for most attacks across enterprise and consumer accounts. There are a whopping 579 password attacks every second which is 18 billion every year.

Apparently  15 percent of people polled used their pets’ names as a password, 40 percent say they’ve used a formula to create their passwords, and 10 percent admitted they reused passwords. In a Twitter poll, 20 percent of respondents said they would “reply all” to a message than go through the hassle of resetting a password.

Additionally, the tech giant said nearly 100 percent of its employees are passwordless when it comes to their corporate accounts.

This password-free login approach can be used with apps and services like Microsoft 365, Microsoft Teams, Outlook, OneDrive, Family Safety, Microsoft Edge and more. Office 2010 or older, Remote Desktop, and Xbox 360 will still need one. And for signing into Windows, you need to be on version 10 or 11.

Last modified on 16 September 2021
Rate this item
(1 Vote)