Microsoft confirms its intention to replace Windows 10 passwords for 800 million users

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This week Microsoft has quietly confirmed the death of Windows 10 passwords. Yogesh Mehta, head of Microsoft crypt, identity and authentication, made an announcement that says "puts 800 million people using Windows 10 one step closer to a world without password ". Whether you love Microsoft or you're an enemy of Windows 10, I think most people will agree that passwords have long since reached their expiration dates. By this I do not mean only in the sense of the basic recommendations on security policy, even though Microsoft has also recently announced a change to Windows 10 passwords in this regard. Rather I refer to the whole concept of a password as a secure authentication method.

Mehta has confirmed that with the release of the next Windows 10 update, Windows Hello will become a genuine FIDO2 certified authenticator. What does it mean, I hear you ask? The FIDO Alliance, which stands for Fast Identity Online, is an industry body committed to solving the password problem through the use of open standards to drive technologies that can replace them securely. FIDO2 is a set of such standards that enables accesses supported by strong cryptographic security and the certification in question applies to the use of Windows Hello for Windows 10 users.

Andrew Shikiar, the FIDO Alliance's CMO, says that "Microsoft was a pre-eminent supporter of the FIDO Alliance mission to move the world beyond passwords". In fact, he has made great strides in getting rid of passwords from the introduction of Windows Hello, which allows Windows 10 users to access devices, in 2015. Thus the arrival of FIDO2 certification for Windows 10 means that have the passwords been exhausted? Not exactly. The death of the password for Windows 10 could still be a persistent and painful problem. "We encourage companies and software developers to adopt a strategy to reach a future without a password and start today by supporting password alternatives such as Windows Hello," says Mehta, before admitting that to get there in the future requires "interoperable solutions that work on all industry platforms "and browsers. "By the way, I say there will be no doubt about the lack of password security stories until the final nail is engraved in this authentication coffin.

Jake Moore, an ESET security specialist, welcomes the news. "Considering the number of data breaches we've seen in recent months," he says, "it's nice to see companies that take the necessary steps to protect their users." However, it warns that passwords "will still be a feature in the background" and therefore users must be driven to "adopt better password management and multi-factor authentication to protect their data in case their information end up in the wrong hands ".

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This week Microsoft has quietly confirmed the death of Windows 10 passwords. Yogesh Mehta, head of Microsoft crypt, identity and authentication, made an announcement that says "puts 800 million people using Windows 10 one step closer to a world without password ". Whether you love Microsoft or you're an enemy of Windows 10, I think most people will agree that passwords have long since reached their expiration dates. By this I do not mean only in the sense of the basic recommendations on security policy, even though Microsoft has also recently announced a change to Windows 10 passwords in this regard. Rather I refer to the whole concept of a password as a secure authentication method.

Mehta has confirmed that with the release of the next Windows 10 update, Windows Hello will become a genuine FIDO2 certified authenticator. What does it mean, I hear you ask? The FIDO Alliance, which stands for Fast Identity Online, is an industry body committed to solving the password problem through the use of open standards to drive technologies that can replace them securely. FIDO2 is a set of such standards that enables accesses supported by strong cryptographic security and the certification in question applies to the use of Windows Hello for Windows 10 users.

Andrew Shikiar, the FIDO Alliance's CMO, says that "Microsoft was a pre-eminent supporter of the FIDO Alliance mission to move the world beyond passwords". In fact, he has made great strides in getting rid of passwords from the introduction of Windows Hello, which allows Windows 10 users to access devices, in 2015. Thus the arrival of FIDO2 certification for Windows 10 means that have the passwords been exhausted? Not exactly. The death of the password for Windows 10 could still be a persistent and painful problem. "We encourage companies and software developers to adopt a strategy to reach a future without a password and start today by supporting password alternatives such as Windows Hello," says Mehta, before admitting that to get there in the future requires "interoperable solutions that work on all industry platforms "and browsers. "By the way, I say there will be no doubt about the lack of password security stories until the final nail is engraved in this authentication coffin.

Jake Moore, an ESET security specialist, welcomes the news. "Considering the number of data breaches we've seen in recent months," he says, "it's nice to see companies that take the necessary steps to protect their users." However, it warns that passwords "will still be a feature in the background" and therefore users must be driven to "adopt better password management and multi-factor authentication to protect their data in case their information end up in the wrong hands ".