Passwordless: The Ideal Identity Authentication for Higher Ed

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In 2004, Bill Gates predicted the death of passwords and highlighted the increasing inadequacy of passwords to protect the user accounts. Today, Passwordless is taking the cybersecurity world by storm.

The higher Education sector, amongst others, remains indecisive about its implementation due to possible reasons that revolve around rigidity towards transition, doubts about its cost-effectiveness, and legacy trust in passwords.

Today, my aim is to counter these reasons and highlight why Higher Ed institutions need Passwordless Authentication. Let’s dive in.

The Need of the Hour

According to Harris Poll, 78% of Gen-Z users use the same passwords for several online accounts. In the broader spectrum, this makes student accounts highly susceptible to bad actors.

The vicious cycle of resetting passwords and forgetting them leads to user fatigue, which encourages students to set fairly guessable passwords and makes student accounts susceptible to attacks.

The Efficiency Quotient (Passwordless Vs. Passwords)

Gartner claims that 20-50% of helpdesk calls pertain to password reset requests. With bad actors optimizing more modern ways to work around security measures and steal credentials, it is becoming increasingly challenging to keep up with the security standards of Passwords.

By eliminating passwords and the chaos they accompany, students can optimize Passwordless to identify themselves. Because Passwordless relies on factors like biometrics, students do not need to remember passwords or request password resets.

Making The Leap

In the last two decades, cybersecurity standards have incorporated Multi-Factor Authentication to actively increase the security of student accounts, and many have already configured it on their accounts.

If you have used MFA in the past, you must be comfortable with it already. Credentials are the easiest to crack, and MFA makes accounts less susceptible to attacks. Passwordless can be incorporated with MFA if institutions find it difficult to rely solely on it. After all, making the leap from Passwords to Passwordless doesn’t have to be too far-fetched.

Trust The Process

Passwordless enables zero trust security, in simpler terms, it does not trust any device, so authentication is crucial every single time.

Adaptive Authentication regularly identifies unusual authentication factors, access attempts, user behavior, and location. It can instantaneously restrict bad actors from gaining access to a student’s account.

Compared to Passwords, Passwordless and Adaptive Authentication can put up a much harder fight.

Thrifty or Hefty

Institutions have a small portion of their budget dedicated to cybersecurity, it can be a serious concern (and reason) to implement Passwordless.

Passwordless implementation does cost a fair amount that may seem like a burden to many higher education institutions – but here’s the catch – it is only an investment. 

According to Forrester, large organizations spend over $1 million annually in help desk costs to assist employees with password-related issues. Implementing Passwordless can annually save up extra bucks and provide more security, leading to significant cost reduction in your institution’s cybersecurity.

In A Nutshell

Passwordless Authentication can improve the student experience while strengthening their trust in authentication, which is a critical step in establishing a zero-trust architecture. In higher education institutions, cybersecurity can be prioritized with Unifyed Passwordless. You can sign up for a demo to understand the benefits it can bring you and how it can aid your cybersecurity infrastructure. Furthermore, students can leverage Passwordless by streamlining their login process.