Is It Time to Ditch the Passwords for More Secure Passkeys?

Passwords are widely used for authentication, but they are also one of the weakest methods. They are often easy to guess or steal, and many people use the same password for multiple accounts, making them vulnerable to cyber-attacks. This is why Firewell Technology Solutions recommends having a look at passkeys.

Remembering numerous passwords can be challenging, leading to habits that make it easier for criminals to breach passwords, such as creating weak passwords and storing them insecurely.

61% of all data breaches involve stolen or hacked login credentials. This is one of the many reasons why we were at Firewell Technology Solutions are so over passwords.

In recent years, a better solution has emerged: passkeys. Passkeys offer improved security over passwords and provide a more convenient way to log into accounts.

What is Passkey Authentication?

Passkeys work by generating a unique code for each login attempt, which is then validated by the server. This code is created using a combination of user information and device details.

Think of passkeys as digital credentials that allow authentication in web services or cloud-based accounts without the need for usernames and passwords.

This authentication technology leverages Web Authentication (WebAuthn), a core component of FIDO2, an authentication protocol. Instead of relying on unique passwords, it uses public-key cryptography for user verification.

The user’s device stores the authentication key, which can be a computer, mobile device, or security key device, and is used by sites with passkeys enabled to log the user in.

Advantages of Using Passkeys Instead of Passwords


More Secure

Passkeys offer greater security compared to passwords. They are more difficult to hack, especially when they combine biometric and device data.

Biometric data can include facial recognition or fingerprint scans, while device information can include the device’s MAC address or location. This makes it significantly harder for hackers to gain unauthorized access.

More Convenient

Passkeys provide enhanced convenience compared to passwords. With password authentication, users often struggle to remember multiple complex passwords, resulting in time-consuming resets.

Passkeys solve this problem by offering a single code that can be used across all accounts, simplifying the login process and reducing the likelihood of forgetting or misplacing passwords.


Credential phishing scams are prevalent, where scammers send emails to trick users into revealing their username and password. However, passkey authentication renders such scams ineffective. Even if a hacker has a user’s password, they would still need the device’s passkey to breach the account.

Are There Any Disadvantages to Using Passkeys?

Passkeys are a promising future authentication technology, but there are some current limitations.

Passkeys Aren’t Yet Widely Adopted

One main disadvantage is the limited adoption of passkeys. Many websites and cloud services still rely on passwords and lack passkey capabilities, requiring users to continue using passwords until passkeys become more prevalent.

Using passkeys for some accounts while using passwords for others may cause a slight inconvenience.

Passkeys Need Extra Hardware & Software

Passwords are free and easy to use, while passkeys require additional hardware and software for code generation and validation. Implementing passkeys can be initially costly for businesses, but the improved security and user experience can outweigh the expense.

Prepare Now for the Future of Authentication

Passkeys offer a more secure and convenient alternative to passwords. Although not yet widely adopted, passkeys have the potential to improve cybersecurity and enhance productivity. Businesses may need to allocate a budget for their implementation.

This article has been republished with permission from The Technology Press.

Need Help Improving Your Identity & Account Security?

Are you a Fresno or Visalia area business looking to improve your business’s security posture? This is the perfect time to start implementing passkey authentication for for your organization. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.


Featured Image Credit


This article, adapted, has been Republished with Permission from The Technology Press.

How to Balance User Productivity with Solid Authentication Protocols

One constant struggle in offices is the balance between productivity and security. If you give users too much freedom in your network, risk increases. But add too many security gates, and productivity can dwindle. We here at Firewell Technology Solutions believe that the key is to have balanced and efficient authentication protocols.

It’s a fine balance between the two but one you can achieve. Organizations need to recognize the importance of both. And not sacrifice one for another.

A recent report from Microsoft notes a dangerous lack of authentication security. Just 22% of Azure Active Directory users had multi-factor authentication (MFA) enabled. This means that over three-quarters were at a much higher risk of an account breach.

Why do organizations fail to adopt important security protocols, like MFA? We know that it’s as much as 99.9% effective at stopping fraudulent sign-ins. Yet so many companies aren’t adopting it.

User inconvenience is the biggest reason. MFA is not expensive. In fact, it’s free to enable in nearly all cloud applications. But if users say that it’s hurting productivity and is a pain to use, companies may not bother with it.

But sacrificing security can hurt productivity worse. Downtime due to a data breach is expensive and can put smaller companies out of business. The main cause of data breaches is credential compromise. So, if you’re not protecting your authentication process, the risk of becoming a breach victim is high.

35% of data breaches initiate from breached login credentials.

There are ways to have both secure and productive users. It simply takes adopting some solutions that can help. These are tools that improve authentication security. But do it in a way that keeps user convenience in mind.

Solutions to Improve Security Without Sacrificing Convenience


Use Contextual Authentication Rules

Not every user needs to go through the same authentication process. If someone is working in your building, they have a certain trust factor. If someone is attempting to log in from outside the country, they do not have that same trust.

Contextual authentication is used with MFA to target users that need to reach a higher bar. You may choose to limit or block system access to someone attempting to log in from a certain region. Or you may need to add an additional challenge question for users logging in after work hours.

Companies don’t need to inconvenience people working from normal locations during typical hours. But they can still verify those logging in under non-typical circumstances. Some of the contextual factors you can use include:

  • Time of day
  • Location
  • The device used
  • Time of the last login
  • Type of resources accessed

Install a Single Sign-on (SSO) Solution

A report on U.S. employees found they use a lot of apps. Workers switch between an average of 13 apps 30 times per day. That’s a lot of inconveniences if they need to use an MFA action for each of those logins.

Single sign-on applications solve this problem. They merge the authentication process for several apps into just one login. Employees log in once and can go through MFA a single time.

Using multi-factor authentication isn’t nearly as inconvenient. Users gain access to everything at the same time. SSO solutions help organizations improve their security without all the pushback from users.

Recognize Devices

Another way to better secure network access is to recognize devices. This is typically done using an endpoint device manager. This automates some of the security behind user authentication. Thus, it doesn’t inconvenience the person.

First, register employee devices in the endpoint device manager. Once completed, you can then set up security rules. Such as blocking unknown devices automatically.

You can also put in place device scanning for malware and automated updates. Both these things increase security without sacrificing productivity.

Use Role-based Authentication

Your shipping clerk may not have access to sensitive customer information. But your accounting team does. One can have a lower barrier to authentication.

Using role-based authentication saves time when setting up new employee accounts. Authentication and access happen based on the person’s role. Admins can program permissions and contextual authentication factors once. Then, the process automates as soon as an employee has their role set.

Consider Adding Biometrics

One of the most convenient forms of authentication is biometrics. This would be a fingerprint, retina, or facial scan. The user doesn’t need to type in anything. It also takes just a few seconds.

Biometric hardware can be costly, depending on the size of your organization. But you can introduce it over time. Perhaps using biometrics with your most sensitive roles first, then expanding.

Additionally, many apps are now incorporating things like facial scanning. Users can authenticate using a typical smartphone, making it much more affordable.

Need Help Improving Authentication Security?

Don’t give up important security because you’re afraid of user pushback. Give Firewell Technology Solutions a call and schedule a network security consultation.


Featured Image Credit


This Article, adapted, has been Republished with Permission from The Technology Press.