While the world struggles to adapt to the pandemic-induced ‘new normal,’ many businesses have chosen to keep their employees home for more extended periods. Some companies also adjust their business models and implement hybrid ones in which workers have ease of functioning both in the workplace and remotely. This hybrid workforce has already presented IT teams with numerous challenges, one of which is - password updates and maintenance. Passwords have been a significant source of annoyance for both IT teams and employees, cutting across all business functionalities and departments. And, the only solution to this issue is to go Passwordless with zero trust policy.
In reality, today's IT teams spend an average of six hours a week on password-related problems, up by almost a quarter from the previous year. Furthermore, the difficulty of recalling, resetting, and modifying passwords encourages users to reuse their credentials across accounts, including personal and business logins, placing sensitive data at risk.
Although passwords have always been a prime target for malicious actors, the advent of remote work has only exacerbated the problem. Threat actors continue to take advantage of moments in crises like COVID-19, relying on us – consumers – not adopting online security best practices, from password stuffing to brute force attacks. So, what can be done to make passwords easier to remember? This is where the concept of passwordless authentication comes into play, especially when companies are shifting to remote working security.
The safest and the easiest way to fight rising phishing scams is to use reliable and robust authentication, such as passwordless - suggests experts.
With the transition to remote work security, the end-user has a greater responsibility to observe security best practices. However, businesses cannot rely exclusively on their users to detect and deter account takeover attacks; employee education and training are insufficient.
Two-factor authentication (2FA) or multi-factor authentication (MFA) that is strong and resistant to phishing should be used in an organization's security infrastructure. When it comes to phishing and man-in-the-middle attacks, having robust authentication options, such as security keys, is the most successful tool. But, password-less authentication will provide the company with several advantages, including a more efficient corporate security risk management program.
Here are some of the reasons why you should ditch your passwords right now:
1. No more inadequate credentials: Users will still find a way to use passwords that are too easy to guess. They'll have a hard time remembering them, reusing them, and sharing them. Weak passwords are easy to crack, putting the company at risk of data breaches. This threat is eliminated with passwordless login.
2. Keep account takeovers at bay: Even with ostensibly "robust" mitigation techniques, including Single Sign-On and Two-Factor Authentication, account takeovers are possible. Two-factor authentication with a password and an OTP based authentication do not have the same protection as passwordless multi-factor authentication based on zero trust. Intercepted OTPs and stolen devices are common security threats, and SSO provides a single point of failure and attack. With strict passwordless authentication, account takeovers are no longer possible.
3. To avoid becoming a victim of phishing: Credentials and the users who use them are still the weakest links in the enterprise security chain, giving attackers the easiest way into networks, computers, and data. If there are no passwords or no intelligence variables to phish, the possibility of "phishing attacks" is absolutely removed.
4. Improve usability and comfort: Passwords, OTPs, SecureCode, and authentication emails are often used to improve enterprise cybersecurity or enterprise cloud security. Passwordless access removes these annoyances while also improving corporate efficiency and profitability.
The secret phrase is - Passwords that are no longer in use will be phased out in the same way that CD players and landlines were phased out. You will never go back to a password-protected system, and here are three significant reasons why:
- Safety is of paramount importance
Weak passwords and password leaks account for 81 per cent of active hacking attempts, owing in part to people repeatedly using the same password. By replacing passwords with a high-assurance authentication system, you are effectively reducing your company's vulnerability - or attack surface - to the number one source of cyberattacks and data breaches. Productivity is the ability to produce anything.
A passwordless approach is an SSO method that allows users to access all of the company's tools by verifying themselves biometrically rather than entering a password. Passwordless authentication means instant and straightforward access to any tool that an employee might use during the workday, whether it's a legacy program on-premises or a newer device in the cloud. It's essential to have easy (and secure) access from anywhere at any time, especially now that more and more workers are working remotely. There's no need to wait for IT staffs to reset a password, as well as the IT staff, doesn't have to waste his precious working hours responding to password reset requests.
The most-faced compliance challenge requires workers to comply with (and remember) immensely complicated password policies as legislation and security requirements such as SOC2 and PCI DSS become more stringent. Without having to recall different passwords, each with its own set of rules, passwordless authentication ensures strict regulatory enforcement.
- Effective Remote Working Security
Remote working security has evolved from an outlier to a new norm. But, is it possible to be productive when working from home?
The response, according to Gallup's study, is yes. According to their findings, remote work increases outcomes and employee branding and is also a strategy that the best workers want.
Furthermore, in some situations (such as the one in which many are currently), remote work capacity and culture are entirely essential for business continuity. The recent Coronavirus outbreak has shown that remote working is an important risk management tool that can mean the difference between surviving a pandemic or global catastrophe and incurring irreversible harm.
Remote working security is also helpful in coping with less severe market disruptions, including corporate changes, mergers and acquisitions, talent shortages, and vital employee relocation. It can also become a strategic advantage as it enables businesses to recruit the best talent without being hostages to geographical constraints.
Being Ready for the Future
Many people associate remote work with ease. Companies must find ways to help employees who work from home and keep their staff active wherever they are without jeopardizing protection. This current state is forcing businesses to reconsider their work-from-home practices, as well as the methods for securing a dispersed and increasingly mobile workforce.
Although most organizations have VPN solutions in place for this purpose (at least to some extent), and some do use multifactor authentication and advanced access control policies, these solutions must be implemented in a way that ensures the same degree of data protection as is required on-premise. Enterprises may allow their remote employees to access company data and applications without putting the company at risk while also preventing high password management costs by eliminating passwords from user authentication.
Since employees need access to various properties, applications, and environments, passwordless authentication eliminates the issue of "password fatigue." On the other hand, Passwordless IAM solutions like Secret Double Octopus provide complete insight into user access rights on corporate networks. Passwordless authentication provides a highly reliable and user-friendly access mechanism to businesses of all sizes, regardless of their employee’s work - future-proofing the companies for what’s next!