Microsoft Wants To Ditch Windows 10 S User Passwords To Enhance Overall Security
Microsoft signaled the end was neigh for passwords when it announced that its Windows 10 S operating system would ditch passwords by default if you go through the recommended setup process. Passwords are a big problem with an estimated 80% of security breaches caused by ineffective and insecure passwords according to a report issued by Verizon last year.
Microsoft isn't alone in trying to eliminate the password, Google, Apple, and others are doing the same thing. Replacements for passwords are mostly biometric with facial scanning like Apple's Face ID and Windows Hello or fingerprint scanning. There are also apps that can be used to give you a unique and temporary password each time you log into a system.
"It's quite clear to us, that the era of the password is passing. Based on the significant amount of accounts that now exist, it doesn't scale as a system," said William Beer, a principal at business management consultancy EY told the LA Times.
Microsoft has called passwords a "relic" from the early days of computing. The software giant has also stated that the password has "outlived its usefulness" and its "ability to keep criminals at bay."
One big issue with passwords is that we need so many of them. Password management company Dashlane said that its average customer has 130 accounts with passwords. More and more devices are entering the market that require passwords from smart items like cars and beds to appliances in the home. It's nearly impossible to find unique hard to hack and memorable passwords for all the devices.
Some work does need to be completed on the technology side before biometrics can take over. Facial scanning has proven to be defeatable with Apple's Face ID having been defeated with a mask, and in one instance two unrelated women were able to both successfully unlock an iPhone X. In addition, Windows Hello was defeated with a simple printed photo.