woman logs into device with passwordless technology

Passwordless authentication is a method of verifying a user’s identity without requiring them to provide a password. Instead of a password, users can authenticate themselves using other factors, such as biometric data (e.g., fingerprints or facial recognition), possession of a physical device (e.g., a smart card or smartphone), or a one-time code sent to their email or phone.

The idea is to make the authentication process more secure, efficient, and user-friendly by reducing the reliance on passwords, which are often weak, forgotten, or stolen. Passwordless authentication can be used for various applications, such as logging into a website or app, accessing a building or a computer system, or making a payment. Additionally, a passwordless experience moves businesses away from the legacy username and password model to ensure the security of your digital identities.

How Does Passwordless Authentication Work?

The process of eliminating password-based authentication can depend on the specific implementation and the factors used to verify the user’s identity. However, in general, here is how it could work:

  1. The user attempts to log in to a device or app, for example.

  2. Instead of providing a password, the user is prompted to provide another factor to verify their identity. This could be something like a fingerprint, facial recognition, a security key, or a one-time code.

  3. The user provides the required factor. For example, they might scan their fingerprint on a biometric sensor or enter a code sent to their phone.

  4. The device or app verifies the factor against the user’s previously registered information. For example, the system might compare the fingerprint to the one on file or check that the code matches the one sent to the user’s phone.

  5. If the factor is successfully verified, the user is granted access to the device or app.

Some passwordless authentication methods, such as biometric authentication or possession-based authentication, rely on hardware or software installed on the user’s device, while others, such as one-time codes, are delivered to the user through a different channel, such as email or SMS.

Fundamentally, the goal of passwordless authentication is to make the login process simpler and more secure by eliminating the need for users to remember and manage passwords.

What are the Benefits of Going Passwordless?

Because so many passwords persist as a massive vulnerability in many businesses and password management strategies leave much to be desired, the benefits of passwordless solutions are far and wide.

Some of the predominate benefits of passwordless authentication include:


Passwords are vulnerable to a variety of attacks, such as phishing, credential stuffing, brute force attacks and password spraying. By eliminating the need for passwords, passwordless authentication can help protect against these attacks and enhance the security of your accounts and systems.


Passwords can be difficult to remember and time-consuming to enter, especially for users who need to manage multiple accounts. According to the 2022 Endpoint Ecosystem study, only 31% of people use a password management tool, Passwordless authentication methods, such as biometric authentication or push notifications, can make the authentication process faster and more convenient for users, improving their overall experience.


Password-related issues, such as forgotten passwords and account lockouts, and password resets can be a significant source of support calls and tickets. In fact, Gartner estimates that 40% of help desk calls are password related. Passwordless authentication can help reduce these support costs by eliminating password-related issues.


Passwordless authentication can help organizations comply with security standards and regulations that require strong authentication, such as NIST 800-63B and PCI DSS.


Passwordless authentication can be easier to scale and manage than traditional password-based authentication. For example, organizations can easily deploy passwordless authentication to a large number of users and devices, without needing to manage and secure passwords.

How Does Microsoft Address Passwordless?

Microsoft offers methods to that users can use to sign into their accounts with secure access. And as Microsoft partners and advocates, we’re always interested in their best practices. Here are some of the methods and how they work:


Users can download and install the Microsoft Authenticator app on their mobile devices. Once set up, the app generates a notification that users can approve to sign into their accounts. The app uses public-key cryptography to create a secure connection between the user’s device and Microsoft’s servers, making it difficult for an attacker to intercept or tamper with the authentication process.


Windows Hello is a built-in feature of Windows 10 that enables users to sign in to their devices using biometric authentication, such as facial recognition or fingerprint scanning. Users can set up Windows Hello during the initial device setup or in the settings menu. Once set up, users can use their biometric data to sign in to their Microsoft accounts and other applications and services that support Windows Hello.


Microsoft supports FIDO2 security keys, which are physical devices that users can use to authenticate themselves. When the user attempts to sign in, they plug the security key into a USB port or tap it to a device that supports NFC. The security key then generates a cryptographic signature that verifies the user’s identity.

How to Go Passwordless

To implement passwordless authentication, there are several key steps to follow. First, it is important to identify the right authentication technology for your business, whether that be biometrics, smart cards, or device recognition.

Next, it is crucial to ensure that the chosen technology is user-friendly and accessible for all employees. Additionally, it is important to implement proper security measures to protect against potential breaches, such as multi-factor authentication and user behavior analytics. By following these steps, organizations can successfully implement passwordless authentication and improve their overall cybersecurity.

For additional guidance on achieving passwordless authentication, check out these resources from the Mobile Mentor team. As always, feel free to reach out to us with any questions. We’ll be happy to lend a hand on your passwordless journey.


Andrew Reade

Andrew Reade

Andrew is our Digital Marketing Manager and oversees web-based marketing strategies and content creation for the organization. As a marketing veteran, Andrew has worked with organizations of all sizes in a diverse group of industries, from Risk Management to Transportation. Joining the organization in 2021, Andrew is based in Mobile Mentor’s Nashville, TN office.