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PASSKEYS - What they are, why we want them and how to use them!
May 6, 2024 1:00 PM

PASSKEYS - What they are, why we want them and how to use them!

by HubSite 365 about John Savill's [MVP]

Principal Cloud Solutions Architect

AdministratorSecurityLearning SelectionM365 Admin

Unlock the Future: Mastering Passkeys for Enhanced Security and Simplicity!

Key insights


  • Passkeys offer a new method for secure authentication, moving away from traditional passwords.
  • They are built on Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) and support passwordless FIDO2, enhancing phishing resistance.
  • A user gesture, such as a tap or a biometric input, is required, adding an extra layer of security through presence and intention verification.
  • Passkeys enable cross-device authentication without the need to transfer sensitive information between devices.
  • The technology is supported on multiple platforms, including Microsoft accounts, and is always synchronized for ease of use.


Exploring the World of Passkeys

Passkeys represent a significant leap forward in digital security and user authentication methodologies. By using passkeys, users and organizations can significantly enhance their security posture with a solution designed to be both phishing-resistant and user-friendly. This modern approach leverages sophisticated cryptographic methods owing to its foundation in PKI and FIDO2 standards, ensuring that authenticity is maintained without compromising ease of use.

One of the most notable advantages of passkeys is their ability to function across various devices seamlessly. This functionality is not just about ease of access but is a substantial step forward in securing cross-device authentication processes. Users no longer need to worry about transferring sensitive authentication details across platforms, strengthening security frameworks significantly.

John Savill, an MVP, recently published a comprehensive video on passkeys, highlighting what they are, their benefits both for organizations and individual users, and guides on their activation. This exploration is designed to offer an extensive understanding of passkeys, underpinning why they are becoming an integral part of modern authentication systems.

Introduction to Passkeys
Passkeys are evolving as a secure and user-friendly alternative to traditional password-based security methods. Built on Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) and Passwordless FIDO2 standards, they offer a solution to several security vulnerabilities. The discussion begins with the history of authentication methods, leading up to the importance of adopting phishing-resistant mechanisms like passkeys.

The Technical Foundation and User Experience
A technical breakdown reveals that passkeys operate through a combination of private and public keys, ensuring secure authentication flow. This process necessitates user gesture and intent, fostering both presence and proximity in the security protocol. Through the utilization of WebAuthn, passkeys provide robust protection against common security threats.

Benefits and Practical Implementation
The video delves into the key advantages of employing passkeys, such as enhanced protection from social engineering attacks. Moreover, it explores the practical side of passkey usage across devices and platforms, detailing how users can add, manage, and employ passkeys in various contexts — notably with Microsoft 365 accounts and Windows. The content expertly navigates through enabling passkeys and their application in realistic settings.

Passkeys represent a significant leap forward in digital security, addressing numerous vulnerabilities inherent in traditional passwords. By relying on cryptographic pairs, they drastically reduce avenues for attack. Additionally, their user-friendly nature aligns with the increasing need for seamless, secure user experiences. For organizations and users alike, passkeys offer a promising step towards stronger, more resilient digital security postures.

Exploring the Significance of Passkeys in Today's Digital Age

Passkeys are quickly becoming a cornerstone in enhancing digital security, providing a safer and more user-friendly alternative to the age-old password system. By leveraging cutting-edge technology, they circumvent commonplace vulnerabilities and threats, ensuring a high level of protection for users' digital identities.

Reflecting on their foundation, passkeys utilize a blend of public and private cryptographic keys, eliminating the need for users to remember complex passwords. This not only simplifies the login process but also significantly heightens security by making accounts less susceptible to phishing and other social engineering attacks.

The adoption of passkeys can greatly impact how organizations and individuals secure their digital assets. With the increasing sophistication of cyber threats, transitioning to passwordless methods like passkeys is a crucial step in fortifying digital defenses.



Security - Passkeys Explained: Benefits & Usage Guide for Enhanced Security


People also ask

"What is passkey and how do you use it?"

For Android users, the Google Password Manager provides a secure repository for storing passkeys, allowing for synchronization across devices linked to the same Google account. These passkeys are encrypted directly on the device before syncing and necessitate decryption on any new device they're moved to.

"What are passkeys and why you need them ASAP?"

A passkey serves as a FIDO credential that is stored either on a computer or a smartphone, facilitating the unlocking of online accounts. This system enhances sign-in security through public key cryptography, requiring proof of credential ownership exclusively when unlocking your device.

"What are the requirements for using passkeys?"

To effectively implement passkeys, they are encrypted and maintained within your iCloud Keychain, ensuring that they remain confidential, including from Apple. It is imperative to have iOS 16, iPadOS 16, macOS 13, or tvOS 16 (or subsequent versions) installed. Additionally, activating iCloud Keychain and two-factor authentication is a prerequisite.

"Where can passkeys be used?"

Passkeys are universally supported across major operating systems and through various third-party password managers, including Dashlane, 1Password, and Bitwarden, enhancing their usability and security features.



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