‘WebAuthn’ – Alternative to Passwords

You might have used a mobile or a laptop, which comes with fingerprint scanning, where your fingerprints are used instead of passwords for authentication. But now, these scanners can also be used as the alternative to passwords for logging onto social media portals or other websites too. This can all be done by using ‘WebAuthn’ authentication method.

What is WebAuthn?

According to reports, World Wide Web Association and FIDO Alliance has declared the new authentication standard for the web called ‘WebAuthn’ – alternative to passwords. This all is done for allowing the users to login by using their biometric data such as face, fingerprints, or iris instead of a password.

So basically, WebAuthn is a new authentication method that doesn’t require you to type passwords for logging in any of the websites.

For example, if you want to log onto some website, which supports the WebAuthn method for authentication and verification, and you have to now sign up on it. While signing up, all you have to do is, add your WebAuthn credentials to the account. These permits can be in form on PIN, a USB dongle, or in the form of fingerprints or some other biometric scan method.

WebAuthn authentication method is at the initial phase right now, but still can be used in few ways, where you can validate yourself. This authentication method will also be applicable on phones and devices, which comes with biometric scanners and also will be used in USB based external authentication.

For example, Yubico, a global authentication leader and a company, which makes secure login easy, is currently using WebAuthn method. Yubico is providing FIDO approved U2F security keys, which is a USB dongle used for signing in securely. After registering, all your data will be saved on the device and PIN will be saved in the key.

If you are using a phone with the biometric scanner (Fingerprint), then you can use WebAuthn method to visit or to log onto a particular website. For this, you just have to register your credentials & device with the website at the time of signing up. Once you are done with it, you will be able to use the WebAuthn method in future on your mobile.

It can also be used with the password in two-factor authentication. This technology can bring a lot more secure and safe environment by replacing passwords, and can also become a primary method for logging in, once it becomes more common and accessible for everyone.

How WebAuthn Will Replace Passwords?

WebAuthn will be used specifically for stopping phishing attempts. Phishing means that the user data and their credentials are stolen by the fake websites and scam emails. But, not anymore, biometric scans make it much more difficult for hackers or third parties to steal the information.

In this method, websites won’t be able to see any of your data that is used at the time of sign up. Instead, they will only get the confirmation for a specific user, who signs in. This will result in much more privacy and security for the consumers, and difficult for hackers to steal biometrics. It is also available for the developers, so that they can use WebAuthn verification method for their respective websites.

Currently, Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome are both working on WebAuthn method, and will soon be coming out for the users. Most of the websites are too working on the same, to make sure that the user data doesn’t get exposed.

This Authentication method potentially can replace the password system but not everything is safe and secure in this world full of cyber predators.

With so many increasing attacks and data breaches, this might be a new change to the security and privacy measures taken by the organizations.

What do you think? Give us your views and feedback in the comment section below.

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