Apple, Google and Microsoft, three of the world’s biggest tech companies, announced a collaborative effort earlier on May 5, to adopt cross-platform compatibility for logging in to sites and services without the need to enter unique passwords everywhere. Through this move, the companies stated that they would begin supporting industry standards for passwordless logins set by industry body, Fast Identity Online (FIDO) Alliance, and the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), to accelerate adoption of passwordless logins.
The move to integrate a common and passwordless way to login to apps and services proprietary to the different technology platforms operated by these companies would become available “over the course of the coming year,” the companies said in a joint statement earlier today.
Passwordless logins have been increasingly looked at as a way to bypass the threat that weak passwords pose in cyber security parlance. With an ever increasing volume of cyber attacks everywhere on the internet, users have been recommended by experts to set strong and unique passwords for every service they use and log in to. However, such practice is typically complicated, and often leads to users forgetting passwords.
A statement on the matter by Apple states that while techniques such as password managers and one-time password based two-factor authentications have offered “incremental” benefits, they are not quite the answer to making logins ubiquitously secure.
As a result, once the partnership among the tech companies start panning out, users should be able to login to various apps and services using the most common authentication methods — such as the biometric face or fingerprint login that many use on their smartphones.
The companies further stated that users would be able to use common login methods irrespective of the platform or operating system they use — which is where this partnership comes in.
Andrew Shikiar, executive director and CMO of the FIDO Alliance, said, “This new capability stands to usher in a new wave of low-friction FIDO implementations alongside the ongoing and growing utilization of security keys — giving service providers a full range of options for deploying modern, phishing-resistant authentication.”
Previously, Microsoft had already announced their move to adopt passwordless logins for their Outlook and Office services.