Microsoft announces that 150 million people use the company’s passwordless login solutions. In November 2019, only 100 million users logged in without a password.
According to Microsoft, these are users of Azure, GitHub, Office and Xbox. They use Windows Hello (fingerprint and facial recognition) to access Azure Active Directory networks. They also use the official Microsoft Authenticator app and FIDO2-based security keys to log in to various online accounts without entering a password.
Microsoft says one of the current goals is to push and support users to use multi-factor authentication (MFA) or passwordless login solutions to secure their accounts.
Microsoft said last year that multi-factor authentication blocks 99.9 percent of all account takeover attacks and that MFA bypass attacks are so rare that the company does not even have good statistics on these types of hacks. People who only use passwords to protect their online accounts are the victim of simple cyber attacks. Users tend to reuse passwords, making these accounts an easy target for hackers.
The use of passwordless login solutions can also often provide an economic benefit in the form of lower technical support costs, as employees do not have to forget and reset passwords. Companies’ support desks have to deal with calls about resetting passwords 30 to 60 percent of the time.
Internally, the majority of Microsoft staff has already made the transition to password-free systems, according to Joy Chik, Corporate Vice President, Microsoft Identity.
“Microsoft’s IT team has moved to passwordless authentication, and now 90 percent of Microsoft employees sign in without entering a password,” Chik said. “As a result, the cost of password support has dropped 87 percent.”