A Complete Guide to Passwordless Authentication for Mobile & Other Devices

Are you sick and tired of doing two-factor authentication when you log in? Let me say that I am. When I saw a new standard has been created to replace the password, it was time to learn more about it. The purpose of this article is to explore passwordless authentication, the vendors of passwordless authentication, and how it works.

What is Passwordless Authentication?

Passwordless authentication is a method of logging into a system without entering a password.

Passwordless authentication is a method of logging into a system without entering a password. This new approach to security is more convenient and secure than traditional login systems.

It eliminates the need for both the user and the company to remember passwords, which are often forgotten or lost. The user logs in by using their mobile phone, tablet, or other devices that has been approved for use with the system.

The device sends an access code to the login page, which then automatically logs in that user with no need for them to enter any other information such as their username or password.

What are the Benefits of Passwordless Authentication?

Passwordless authentication is the future of security. It removes the need for a password and instead relies on factors like facial recognition, fingerprints, USB/NFC keys, and other biometric identifiers.

There are many benefits to using passwordless authentication. The first is that it is more secure than passwords because it does not rely on something that can be hacked or stolen. It also saves time for the user because they don’t have to remember a password and type it in every time they log in.

What Are the Drawbacks to Passwordless Authentication?

The pros of using passwordless authentication are that it will make it easier for users to log in and access their accounts. This is because they won’t have to remember their passwords.

The cons of using passwordless authentication are that it can make it easier for hackers to get into your account. This is because there is no need for them to try and guess your password, as they can just use a brute force attack or social engineering tactics instead.

What are the Standards for Passwordless Authentication?

The FIDO Alliance is a non-profit organization that develops and promotes passwordless authentication standards. It has developed two standards for passwordless authentication: FIDO (Fast IDentity Online) and FIDO2 (Fast IDentity Online 2.0).

The webauthn standard is an extension of the FIDO2 standard. It is a new W3C web standard that allows websites to authenticate users without passwords or hardware tokens. This new standard will be supported by all major browsers by 2020.

What is FIDO2?

FIDO2 is a set of specifications that define an open authentication standard to replace passwords.

FIDO2 is a new specification that defines an open authentication standard to replace passwords. It builds on FIDO Alliance’s earlier work, FIDO UAF (Universal Authentication Framework) and the FIDO2 Project\’s first specification, WebAuthn (Web Authentication). FIDO2 provides stronger security than passwords by replacing them with “stronger authenticators” such as biometrics or hardware tokens.

What is WebAuthn and How does WebAuthn work?

WebAuthn is a new standard for strong authentication that is replacing the old passwords and pins with a more secure and convenient way to log in.

WebAuthn, which stands for Web Authentication, is a new standard for strong authentication that is replacing the old passwords and pins with a more secure, convenient way to log in. It is an open authentication standard developed by the FIDO Alliance.

What are hardware tokens and how do they work?

Hardware tokens are physical objects that are used to authenticate a user. They typically come in the form of a USB / NFC key, but they can be in any shape or size. When a person plugs their token into their computer, it requests the user to tap the device, and enter a pin or password on their token. Different applications including Windows, Mac, Google, Microsoft, and other web applications can be configured to log in with a USB / NFC key.

The hope is that it will replace the two-factor authentication techniques currently the standard. The major vendors, Apple, Microsoft, Google, Facebook, and others are committed to supporting the new FIDO2/WebAuthn standards.

What is NFC and how does it work?

NFC stands for Near Field Communications. It is a set of technologies that allows two devices to communicate when they are close together (usually less than one inch). This communication can be either used to transfer data or to control one device with another.

What are the common vendors of the USB / NFC key?

There are lots of vendors that support the FIDO / FIDO2 / WebAuthn standards. Some of these vendors are:

  • YubiKey

    YubiKey is a two-factor or passwordless authentication device that plugs into the USB port of the computer. The device can be configured to work with popular social media platforms, services and banking accounts to safeguard against unauthorized access. YubiKeys are available in three formats: FIDO U2F, OTP and NFC.Users can also use the device for multiple devices such as laptops, phones or tablets with just one YubiKey.

  • Feitian USB / NFC Keys

    Feitian is a cross-platform password management program that was designed to be easy to use and integrate into people\’s daily lives. Users can use their fingerprint or face in place of a password. The software also works on tablets and smartphones, making it easy for users to access their data on the go. Feitian also has USB / NFC keys that compete with YubiKey.

  • Google Titan USB key

    The Titan Key is a physical USB key that can be used to securely log into a 2-step verification or passwordless enabled Google account. It works with different operating systems and also web applications. It is an alternative to using SMS codes or voice calls to verify your identity. You can connect it to your computer\’s USB port and enter the PIN, like any other physical security key, and then you will be able to access your account without using another device or method.

  • Solo 1 USB Key

    The Solo 1 USB Key is a lightweight and compact device that can help businesses and organizations increase their security. It supports all the latest FIDO / FIDO2 / WebAuthn standards.

How do the FIDO2 / WebAuthn keys work?

The FIDO2 / WebAuthn keys are not a replacement for passwords. They are used to replace the password experience. The idea is to use a physical key instead of a password, which is much more secure.

The FIDO2 protocol is an open authentication standard that replaces passwords with physical keys or biometrics. The WebAuthn protocol is a W3C-standardized version of the FIDO2 protocol, designed for web-based applications and browsers.

Here is a video from the FIDO Alliance on how these keys work.


The purpose of this blog post was to explore passwordless authentication and the major players in this market.

Dr. M

Dr. M

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