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Duo's Passwordless Authentication is Coming!
Industry News

Duo’s Passwordless Authentication is Coming!

And lo! Passwords have been with us since the early days. When the number of computers on the internet could be counted with two hands, there was the password. When we dialed up for the first time, we used a password. We had a password for Geocities and MySpace. The mainframe came and went, the floppy disk came and went. The password might even outlast the corporate data center. It’s still with us.

Lo was the first word sent across the internet. Sadly, not in the “lo and behold” sense. The message was the starting characters of login. From the earliest of days, we’ve been beholden to the password.

Today we leave that legacy behind. 

What’s Coming 

I’m excited to share that Cisco is announcing Duo’s passwordless authentication. It replaces the password with security keys and platform biometrics such as Apple FaceID and TouchID, and Windows Hello. Built on Cisco’s industry-leading zero trust platform, securing access for any user, from any device, to any application, the solution will provide one easy login to all the organization’s cloud applications. 

Duo passwordless authentication will be available for public preview beginning summer 2021. 

Passwordless Emerges

A rule of technological innovation is that we leap forward when standards, infrastructure, and critical mass adoption come together. The FIDO Alliance’s FIDO2 specification, built upon the Web Authentication (WebAuthn) standard, laid the foundation for passwordless authentication. The ubiquity of the smartphone has led to improvements and prevalence of biometrics. In fact, many of us get into our phones and computers today without a password, thanks to biometrics securely stored on and validated by the device itself.

Workforces are ready for passwordless authentication. According to the 2020 Duo Trusted Access Report, 80% of mobile devices used for work have biometrics configured, up 12% the past five years. 

Passwordless has arrived. It’s no longer a question of when, but a question of what’s next.

Duo Security’s Passwordless Authentication

Security leaders are turning to passwordless to improve the user experience for the workforce. It has to be simple. Duo became the most loved company in security because of our relentless pursuit of simplicity. 

We make security painless, so security professionals can focus on what's important. Shifting from password multi-factor authentication to passwordless authentication builds upon Duo’s strengths in user-friendly authentication.

The journey to passwordless authentication will be taken in steps and stages. Like the cloud transformation before it, transitioning authentication faces the realities and complexities of the modern organization. 

The approach must be standards-based, interoperable, and identity-agnostic. Duo continues to contribute and collaborate with FIDO and the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) working group in championing WebAuthn’s ratification as an official web standard and adoption across platforms. 

The promise of passwordless is both improved usability and improved security. While relieving people from the complexity and error-prone nature of maintaining too many passwords, we also must enforce strong security access policies. Building upon the instrumentation provided by Duo’s zero trust platform, we can increase trust in authentication by transparently verifying and validating every connection to every application. 

Passwordless authentication will be more than simply removing the password. It will be increasing trust and control across every authentication.

Duo’s Passwordless Authentication Resources


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