What is Passkey authentication?
Passkeys are a secure and robust alternative to passwords. They are specifically designed to protect against phishing attacks, simplify the login process, and eliminate the need to remember and manage multiple passwords.
Standardized by the FIDO Alliance, passkey authentication leverages public key cryptography and biometric authentication to verify a user. Unlike passwords that are stored on servers, passkeys are stored on user devices. This means that even in the event of a server breach, passkeys will not be stolen.
Is passkey authentication the same as passwordless authentication?
Passwordless authentication refers to any method that eliminates the need to use passwords for authentication. This can be done using different factors, such as biometrics, device PINs, physical security keys or passkeys.
Since passkey authentication replaces passwords with passkeys, passkey authentication is a type of passwordless authentication.
Multi-factor authentication (MFA) vs Passkey authentication:
MFA refers to any authentication mechanism that uses two or more factors for verification. For example, a password and a one-time password (OTP); or a password and a fingerprint scan.
Passkey authentication achieves MFA in a single step. While the user only needs to perform a biometric scan or enter the device pin, the underlying authentication process combines two factors: the passkey itself and the biometric/device pin. This streamlined approach enhances security without adding friction to the login experience.
Visit the IAM and Cybersecurity Learning Hub to gain further knowledge about:
- Passkey authentication vs. passwords.
- How does passkey authentication work?
- Pros of passkey authentication.
- Cons of passkey authentication.