Passkey vs Password: What’s the big deal?

Passkey vs Password: What’s the big deal?

Mar 11, 2024

Passkey vs Password - Many people still use weak passwords.
Passkey vs Password - Many people still use weak passwords.
Passkey vs Password - Many people still use weak passwords.

We've all been there - you go to log into an account and draw a blank on the password. After a few frustrating tries, you're locked out and have to reset it...again. Sound familiar? Managing a million passwords is a nightmare, but there's finally a better way - enter passkeys!

The Password Pains We're Over

Let’s face it, passwords have become a thorn in our side. As a user, coming up with a unique password every time you sign up to something new is a burden. And as developers, we’re forced to add ever more complex password requirements to combat the plague of weak passwords. Hackers can easily break into accounts by guessing weak passwords or scooping them up in data breaches. And who hasn't reused the same fatigue-induced password across accounts? Constantly resetting forgotten passwords is just plain annoying too. The struggle is real when it comes to balancing security and convenience with traditional password authentication.

Passkeys to the Rescue

Passkeys ditch the shared secret paradigm entirely by using sophisticated cryptography instead. With WebAuthn, your device acts as the secure "key" to unlock accounts effortlessly via biometrics or device PINs.

No more passwords means no more:

  • Easily hackable credentials

  • Password reuse putting all your accounts at risk

  • Constant password resets and account lockouts

Talk about a win for security AND user experience! Passkeys are super hard to phish or hack while making logins a total breeze.

The Tech Giants Double Down

The biggest names in tech are going all-in on this passwordless future. Apple, Google, and Microsoft have all pledged major support for passkeys and the WebAuthn standard behind them.

Apple recently announced passkeys as a flagship feature in the latest OS updates. You can now use Face ID or Touch ID as passwordless logins across apps, websites, and even between devices like Macs and iPads.

Google has been beating the passwordless drum for years through its leadership in WebAuthn and FIDO Alliance initiatives. Android is embracing passkeys, and Google accounts will soon replace passwords entirely.

Microsoft is integrating passkey support across its ecosystem too - from Windows to Office to Xbox and more. You'll be able to use Windows Hello biometrics or external keys for hassle-free authenticated experiences.

Beyond the tech titans, major browser vendors like Mozilla, Brave, and Opera are enabling native passkey support. This aligns perfectly with WebAuthn being a web standard accessible from any modern browser.

United Industry Front

What makes passkeys so compelling is the united front from all the big players. While previous passwordless solutions were proprietary, WebAuthn establishes an interoperable industry standard that "just works" across different platforms and providers.

Seeing companies that are usually fierce competitors align behind a unified passwordless vision shows just how seriously they're taking the need to overhaul insecure passwords. It's not just marketing fluff - passkeys are shaping up to be the definitive way we'll all authenticate online in the future.

With this kind of universally backed momentum, it's not a matter of if but when passkeys will become the new norm. Websites, apps, smart home devices - you name it. The passwordless paradigm shift is already underway.

Getting on the Passkey Train

While passwords may linger for a while, adding support for passkeys positions companies ahead of the curve for modern authentication. Many apps/sites are already rolling out passwordless logins as an option, with handy ways to migrate existing users.

The passwordless movement is only going to keep growing from here. Soon, we could be using passkeys for things like home and IoT device authentication too. How cool would it be to unlock your smart home with a simple fingerprint?

If you're over janky passwords and account security woes, it's time to hop on the passkey train. Your future log-in self will thank you!