Passwordless Authentication Risks for Internet Users

By including the use of passwordless authentication, Artificial intelligence (AI) has been a game-changer for the state of cyber-security.

More so, the advances in AI have been shaping the state of the Internet for years. One of the biggest of these changes we can see in the arena of cyber-security.

The utilization of AI technology has acted as a two-edged sword for the cyber-security sector. It offers robust protection against breaches of data, online security threats, and malware. Moreover, studies and observations show that cyber-security experts might spend over $38.2 billion on AI-driven cyber-security solutions by 2026.

Where’s the risk?

Not only benefits but, AI poses a lot of threats as more hackers are using AI technology these days. They use it as a weapon to create more terrifying malware, penetrate network defenses, and find targets in their assessments. More so, AI technology has also led to new discussions pertaining to the role of passwords.

For an extended period, password-based authentication features have remained a mainstay security framework. We are already aware of the risks of this authentication option, as hackers can easily crack passwords. They can buy, steal, or guess passwords that can compromise access to sensitive data and networks.

With the evolution of AI, some important questions have arisen about the role of passwords in cybersecurity. Additionally, AI technology has also led to a new generation of password cracker tools. It has made some people believe that a passwordless security solution might be preferable.

The introduction of passwordless technology

AI has made it possible for the introduction of passwordless technology authentication. It has mitigated these risks in recent years. The Passwordless login helps to dispense passwords completely for eliminating all password-related attacks.

How does it help users?

Passwordless authentication technology introduces advanced authentication and strengthens network security which includes; phishing scams. Apart from these benefits, passwordless authentication has its fair share of risks and limitations which includes the following:

#1. Poor Proofing of Identity

Proofing of identity entails determining the real identity of users during the registration of accounts. Moreover, it makes provisions to ensure that only authorized people can access organizational data. This is also a very delicate step in the protection of organizations and businesses from severe cyber security threats. These threats usually connect to unauthorized access, which includes identity fraud.

Poor proofing of identity automatically brings about risks to passwordless authentication. Therefore, to mitigate this risk, organizations should use proper identity governance to create accounts for real users. Companies should implement robust security controls and app attestation to verify and validate device integrity.

Artificial Intelligence technology provides an easier way to help networks better recognize users. In addition, until it happens, this is a vulnerability that hackers take advantage of using their machine learning tools.

#2. Identity Management is Non-Secure

Access management helps to ensure that only specific identities or authorized users can access certain information from the system. In turn, this can prevent unauthorized users from gaining access to restricted resources. However, non-secure identity management exposes organizations to possible identity fraud which is a significant passwordless risk. Also, malicious actors can easily subvert weak authentication.

Organizations should use identity proofing to ensure that even authorized personnel can only access what they are allowed to access. Companies need to use passwordless multi-factor authentication that uses robust authentication features like biometrics. They need to observe zero-trust cyber security principles to guarantee independently verified access within the company’s network and outside.

As said before, data analytics and AI technology are making zero-trust technology more reliable for companies to utilize it strategically.

#3. End-User Authentication Devices that are Vulnerable

Another common risk associated with passwordless authentication is the theft of mobile devices. If malicious entities get hold of unlocked user devices, they can obstruct OTPs, PINs, and other vital data. They will be able to access links that are generated from authentication apps or sent through email or SMS. Another possible risk associated with vulnerable devices is SIM swapping.

With this, hackers can manipulate service providers into transferring and canceling important information from legitimate SIM cards. Hackers use AI technology to understand better the nature of the people they are scamming or impersonating. More so, hackers can intercept sensitive communication and access any service that uses SMS authentication. Apart from possible risks or theft from insecure applications, devices are also exposed to damage from infected websites or malware.

With these risks, organizations are exposed to other severe risks. Unfortunately, the mobile nature of these devices will also increase their vulnerability to unauthorized access and theft. In essence, companies can reduce risks by implementing a cryptographic multi-factor authentication and MDM (Mobile Device Management) solution.

Artificial Intelligence leaves Some Vulnerabilities with Passwordless Authentication

Some new questions resulted from Artificial Intelligence technology about the state of cyber-security and Passwords are a prime example.

In conclusion, passwordless authentication holds on to the ability for authentication devices to specific user attributes which includes; facial features or fingerprints. Artificial Intelligence technology has made passwordless authentication more effective, although there are some limitations. While this authentication method is reliable, advanced, and safe, make sure not to forget the various risks that are included. Also, unlike password-based authentication, vulnerabilities that are available in passwordless authentication are minimal.