MICROSOFT HAS been working towards killing the password for some time, but now the dream is a lot closer after Windows 10 was given official FIDO2 certification.
What this means in real terms is that Windows Hello is recognised as a FIDO2 certified authenticator. Or put simply, it meets the industry standard for a passwordless future.
"No one likes passwords (except hackers), says Microsoft in a blog post. "People don't like passwords because we have to remember them. As a result, we often create passwords that are easy to guess—which makes them the first target for hackers trying to access your computer or network at work."
Microsoft first announced that FIDO2 was coming natively last November, but now the process is now complete and we can all look forward to this brave new world in the upcoming Build 1903 (19H1) of Windows 10 as-a-service.
That first announcement covered using FIDO2 and Windows Hello to access web portals, as well as on-device. Being an authenticator takes the process even further, allowing Windows to act as an authenticator for sites and service across the web.
Microsoft has been working towards killing the password for years, and whilst its FIDO chops are a little behind Google's which has accepted security keys or years, it's coming up fast on the inside.
The options are many and varied. There's FIDO keys - little USB sticks like those from our friends at Yubikey. There's proximity from a configured mobile phone. There's your fingerprint, and there's your iris. The options will depend on your device. And let's not forget there's also the Authenticator app - both Microsoft's and third-party versions - constantly generating a secure code for one-time-access to whatever it is you're looking for.
Microsoft is encouraging us all to get Windows Hello set up - for organisations, it recommends security keys for public terminals. For the rest of us, frankly, the eye's the limit.
Sorry, that was a rubbish pun, even for us. μ
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