Microsoft has added support for Web Authentication to its Edge browser. It will strengthen the security and provide a password-free login experience to users on the web.
The Web Authentication is an API for accessing public key credentials. It will allow the users of Microsoft Edge to sign in using their fingerprint, face, PIN as well as portable FIDO2 (Fast Identity Online) devices, rather than passwords.
The websites process sensitive information of users, like credit card numbers, contact details, medical information. This information is protected by websites using password. Microsoft said that same password is most of the times used for several platforms, which can lead to phishing and cracking.
Also, when different passwords are set for various platforms, it becomes difficult to remember them. Hence, the new feature in Microsoft Edge will lead the charge towards a world without passwords.
The new feature will begin rolling out with Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 17723, where all the logins will be tied into Windows Hello. The Windows Hello is a password-free service for Windows 10 that supports facial recognition, fingerprint scanners and PIN numbers.
For example, if a PC with Windows 10 has the hardware for facial recognition, then the user can sign in just by looking at the screen, instead of typing a password.
With Web Authentication, Microsoft is expanding the Windows Hello to Edge browser. Users can log in to sites using Windows Hello face recognition, if the website supports Web Authentication. Additionally, FIDO2 security keys can also be used for authentication with a removable device.
Microsoft will provide backwards compatibility with FIDO U2F (Universal 2nd Factor) devices for the websites that don’t support Web Authentication. It will allow users to set a two-factor authentication along with the password.
“We’re working with industry partners on lighting up the first passwordless experiences around the web,” wrote Microsoft in a blog post.
“Passwordless authentication experiences like this are the foundation of a world without passwords.”