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  • As an online business owner, there are many things you have to take care of to secure your application, provide better authentication, a nice user experience, and more.

    If you offer user authentication on your web applications, then there are few options you have. Traditionally, one goes for username and password authentication.

    But there is a problem…

    Can you count how many passwords you own?

    You’re puzzled, right?

    It seems like I just asked you some high-level mathematics.

    Yes, it can be that hard.

    It’s because you might have hundreds of passwords for accessing so many online solutions you utilize in your business or for your website. From emails and productivity trackers to project management, CRM, security solutions, you have passwords for each one of them.

    Plus, you are advised not to use the same password in all the applications.

    So, it becomes tough to remember each of them. And if you use a passwords manager, there’s still the likelihood of attacks. In case your passwords get hacked, all your passwords could be compromised.

    You can’t imagine how scary it may turn out to be for your business!

    So, what’s the solution?

    Don’t worry; there’s a world beyond passwords.

    And this world is – passwordless authentication.

    That’s right!

    As a developer, website owner – you can implement passwordless authentication, so your users no longer have to remember passwords and think about losing it or getting it stolen. And that’s the goal of this article to introduce you to this world, along with some of the best solution providers out there for this.

    What is passwordless authentication?

    Passwordless authentication is a system that swaps traditional password usage with more safe and secure factors. These high-level security methods might include a fingerprint, magic link, secret token, etc. that’s delivered via a text message or email.

    It eliminates the need to generate a password to gain access to the systems. And this is good for your users as they won’t find any hassle while using a website or application developed by you.

    The benefits of passwordless authentication are:

    • Enhanced experience: Whether it’s accessing the business emails, fingerprint scanning, or verification on an application, the users are not required to memorize their password credentials anymore, which is a true delight you can offer to your customers. It also leads to a great screen-time experience.
    • Stronger security: Passwords that are user-controlled are highly vulnerable to attacks like corporate account takeovers (CATOs), credential stuffing, brute-force attacks, etc. So, when there would be no passwords to exploit, users won’t get into any trouble while using your applications.
    • Increased convenience: Why go for a complex password that users need to keep track of all the time if they can have efficient options out there through passwordless authentication. Give your users extra convenience while gaining access or getting information anywhere and anytime they want.

    Types of Passwordless Authentication

    • Email – where the users need to enter their email address to get a magic link or unique code to log-in
    • SMS – entering a phone number is required to get a unique one-time code to log-in.
    • Biometric – where fingerprint scanning, iris scanning, or face-scanning takes place to get access

    There are so many services and APIs available where you can leverage passwordless authentication and integrate it into your applications instead of building an in-house solution. They are cost-friendly, save your development time, and bring you great security by just paying some nominal fee.

    To your surprise, some of them are also available for FREE!

    How does it help?

    Passwordless authentication leverages technologies like digital certificates. It includes cryptographic key pairings.

    The steps for the same are as follows:

    • A private key gets stored on a user’s local device and then linked to a type of authentication factor such as face recognition, fingerprint, or unique PIN.
    • Meanwhile, the public key moves to that application or website to which the user wants to access

    So, if you have made up your mind to use passwordless in your applications, you have made a good decision.

    Let’s now look at some of the best solutions that give you the power of this passwordless authentication technology along with the comprehensive set of features and security.

    Auth0

    Start your passwordless journey with Auth0, and implement its premium security features easily on your web applications. You can let your users authenticate using a magic link through emails or one-time passcodes through an SMS.

    It works everywhere, and you can utilize its lock Passwordless widget to encapsulate authentication using your mobile devices, tablet, or desktop. Don’t worry about brute-force attacks as their advanced in-built attack prevention mechanism blocks hackers’ IP addresses immediately, and you get notified.

    You can provide sturdy security to your users who would appreciate your services.

    Auth0 hashes and salts passwords by leveraging the algorithm of bcrypt, which is a sophisticated algorithm created to prevent attacks and breaches.

    You can start with its free plan for a maximum of 7000 active users and unlimited logins with no credit card.

    Auth0 is an enterprise-ready identity platform that offers comprehensive authentication services, including universal login, multifactor, single sign-on, etc. You also get features like:

    • Log retention
    • Efficient user management involving granular access control and creating groups
    • Email customization with configuration parameters and templates to enhance the appearance of the email sender identity
    • Account linking with various identity providers or IDPs like social media sites, databases
    • Custom domain for Auth0-hosted pages

    It supports 3 deployments types:

    • Public cloud
    • Private cloud
    • Managed private cloud

    Auth0 integrates well with popular email solutions such as AWS SES, Mailgun, SparkPost, Sendgrid, and custom SMTP.

    FusionAuth

    FusionAuth is an excellent email-based option that supports passwordless login. It enables easy and quick authentication for different applications from the web, desktop, console, and mobile apps.

    You can also create native login experiences or utilize FusionAuth’s OAuth, SAML-v2 front ends, or OpenID Connect. It also supports other industry standards such as OAuth 2, including PCKE and Introspect.

    Include social logins in minutes along with federated logins through Active Directory. When it comes to multi-factor authentication, FusionAuth streamlines everything; you do not need to buy expensive add-ons for it.

    FusionAuth supports code-based MFA and SMS, plus the inclusion of “Remember this Device” through their 2-factor device ids. Tracking all the users who logged in previously into a system is possible, which reduces friction.

    Through anomalous login detection, FusionAuth can detect suspicious events like brute-force attacks. You can empower your users with an interesting option to lock other users if an attack happens in their system. In addition to this, it also supports the family modeling system and advanced consent systems like Email Plus and COPPA.

    Trusona

    The likelihood of credential stealing and other risks that your users are always concerned about can be reduced by avoiding traditional credentials in your applications. You can implement Passwordless authentication by Trusona.

    The passwordless solution supports a multitude of devices and channels for your customers and employees. Specific fields for verification, including date of birth, first name, address, etc. are easily customizable on using this solution.

    Trusona has patented, and advanced anti-replay technology that ensures all the data is safe from attacks about credential replays and bot attacks. It can be used from 2-factor authentication with Essential to 3-factor authentication using an employee badge or a government ID.

    You can let your users create rapid time-to-value by reducing enablement costs and IT training to onboard new users. It also helps to reduce helpdesk call volumes and resources by reducing password reset issues altogether. Trusona also has a thoughtful UI that further strengthens its security.

    The passwordless SDK has an impressive user interface with plain English having no tech jargon. It is available for both Android and iOS utilizing native APIs along with JSON RESTful APIs available for web apps.

    They also provide the first identity proofing service in the industry that utilizes DLDV (Driver License Data verification service) by AAMVA to accurately and quickly verify the actual identity. By embedding this capability, you can deliver secure remote and in-person usage.

    Keyless

    Enable passwordless authentication on your applications using Keyless that your users can trust. You can deploy Keyless on various appliances and devices as they do not entirely rely on sensors and device hardware.

    Keyless protects your users from credential reuse, phishing, and fraud. It lets your users have a frictionless experience through multiple channels while accessing your business applications. Keyless is packed with some out-of-the-box technologies such as unique identification, where it identifies users natively in each point.

    As a result, it can ensure only the allowed users are logging in to the systems. In case a user loses their access to any of their devices, there’s an option for data recovery and backup through which the users can recover their respective identities.

    Keyless provides high-level security as there’s no central hub where password data is stored to be stolen. It makes information available only to the user and has built-in privacy that preserves your users’ interests.

    Keyless never processes or stores PII, and it also helps you comply with regulations. They utilize industry-leading UX that reduces MFA fatigue and authentication friction. It also embraces anti-fraud technology along with behavioral authentication that helps minimize account takeover risks in addition to other thefts associated with your applications.

    Swoop

    When security meets elegance and simplicity, Swoop comes in. They have two powerful and patented technologies – Magic Message and Magic Link.

    Give your users the flexibility of choosing how they wish to authenticate by integrating Swoop through two methods:

    • Receiving an email having a Magic Link, which is great for desktops. Here, the users have to type the email address and use the link.
    • Sending a mobile-friendly Magic Message. Here, they need to hit “send” over an auto-generated email, no typing required.

    Okta

    Say goodbye to the age-old system of passwords; instead, delight your users and secure their data by implementing passwordless authentication by Okta.

    Okta offers an enterprise-ready authentication solution. It provides three modes of authentication:

    Email-based magic links where users click on an embedded link sent over an authenticated email to verify a request and then continue the further login process. It is great for apps requiring not-so-frequent authentication, multiple device access, or whenever you wish to access.

    Bootstrap users with high assurance passwordless logins from any device. The feature is only available in Okta’s Identity Engine. The benefits of email magic links are cost-effectiveness, easy to use, time wastages in software product development, etc.

    WebAuthn is a standards-driven approach that uses authenticators such as TouchID and Yubikeys to verify users into applications. It needs no credential sharing again and again, and provides a seamless experience, is cost-effective, and reduces identity attacks.

    Factor sequencing allows verification through high-assurance factors such as Okta Verify along with risk-based-auth that removes the requirement for a second authentication factor. It enables single sign-on on desktops, Device Trust, and Smart-card/PIV. Smart-Card or PIV is great for users in government organizations and their regulated industries like banking and healthcare.

    The Device Trust by Okta integrates with major systems for endpoint management to provide a passwordless mobile and desktop experience.

    Magic

    Securing 20 million+ authentications each month, Magic is literally doing magic when it comes to providing a seamless passwordless experience.

    By implementing Magic into your applications, you can lift your customers’ entire authentication overhead, which helps them focus more on things that are important to growing business. Magic has system-anomaly detection, which mitigates login attacks based on app usage patterns.

    Magic ensures reliability and speed by eliminating email redundancy. They maintain enterprise-level security and compliance by using SLAs and SOC-2 that are battle-tested for crucial events. It supports multiple languages and lets you empower your users to customize their brands’ look and feel.

    Conclusion

    The world is moving slowly towards passwordless as the risk of online threats never seems to stop. In a situation like this, you need to make sure you develop applications laced with the latest technologies that help your users reduce the probability of attacks and promote your product.

    If not already, you should also consider using cloud-based WAF to protect your application from OWASP top 10, DDoS and known attacks.