To allow users log in to their personal Microsoft accounts without any password, Microsoft has added support for YubiKey 5 and Windows Hello to its services.
YubiKey 5 is a hardware-based authentication solution by Yubico, that provides protection against phishing, enable compliance, and offers a variety of options for strong authentication. For password-less authentication, it supports FIDO2 standard.
FIDO2 enables users to leverage standards-based devices to easily authenticate to online services—in both mobile and desktop environments. Unlike passwords, it uses public or private key encryption to protect user credentials.
“Microsoft has been on a mission to eliminate passwords and help people protect their data and accounts from threats. As a member of the Fast Identity Online (FIDO) Alliance and the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), we’ve been working with others to develop open standards for the next generation of authentication,” wrote Alex Simons, Corporate Vice President of Program Management, Microsoft Identity Division, in a blog post.
Microsoft said that password-less log in to its services will transform both at home and in the modern workplace environments. There are around 800 million people who use Microsoft account to create, connect, and share from Microsoft services.
Microsoft customers who use YubiKey or Windows Hello will be able to securely log in to these Microsoft services on Edge: Cortana, Outlook, Office, Skype, OneDrive, Xbox, Bing, Windows Store, Windows, and MSN.
“We’ve done it! Together, with Microsoft, we’ve officially made it possible for hundreds of millions of Microsoft users around the world to log in without a password on their personal Microsoft accounts (MSA), with a YubiKey 5 or Security Key by Yubico,” wrote Ronnie Manning, Vice President of Communications, Yubico, in a separate blog post.
To leverage the new features, users will need to have installed Windows 10 October 2018 update.
Image source: Yubico