Moving Beyond Passwords

We’re not going to get political here… but when the elected leader of the free world speaks out against the very concept of maintaining passwords, you know that they’re on the way out. [Read President Obama’s OP-ED at the Wall Street Journal.]


Nobody likes passwords. They’re needlessly complex, you have to change them once every few months, and you need remember a different password for every site you log in to. While technology vendors have done a great job fortifying their products against hackers and viruses, passwords have always been one of the weakest links of the security chain.

Two factor authentication – also known as 2FA – is the most likely replacement for passwords over the next 10 years. The concept is simple: Two simple credentials are generally more secure than one complex credential. We’re already seeing this with chip-and-PIN credit cards. The credit card and the PIN need to be paired up in order to be effective, and while it may be possible to steal either the PIN or the card without alerting the owner, it’s extremely hard to capture both.

For home users of Windows 10, 2FA is usually implemented through physical possession of your device and either a PIN or a biometric factor, such as your fingerprint or infrared photography of your face. Once Windows verifies your identity, it can log in to sites that support Microsoft Passport automatically – no need to juggle usernames and passwords.

Smartphone authentication apps are quickly becoming a favorite tool for authentication – some apps constantly generate secure one-time-passwords, while others communicate with internet services, using your unlocked screen and requests to confirm that you are who you say you are.

On Window 10 Home and Pro, you can set up a PIN using the following steps:

  1. Open the Start menu.
  2. Search for “Sign-in options.”
  3. Under PIN click “Add.”
  4. Create a PIN.


RWA can enable similar methods of 2-factor authentication for your business over Windows 10, Office 365, and Azure AD. The combination of 2FA and Single Sign On can provide the security your company needs without the passwords. As a Certified Microsoft Partner, we’re ready to support you in your journey to the cloud and beyond. Contact us today for more information on our latest service offerings.




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