The technology sector has been working on a passwordless authentication future for a long time. It’s been nearly a decade since the FIDO Alliance was formed with the vision of reducing our reliance on passwords. And now, the idea of eliminating passwords finally looks like a promising reality.
FIDO’s WebAuthn protocol paved the way for passwordless as far back as 2019, but a major cross-platform development this year will open the doors for wider adoption. On World Password Day this past May, the FIDO Alliance announced that tech giants Apple, Google, and Microsoft had committed to introducing passwordless logins at scale.
The tech giants have since ushered in the new passwordless era—and so has Dashlane.
Only a few websites and apps—such as the popular travel app KAYAK, eBay, and Best Buy—currently support passkeys. But this will change quickly. A recent example is PayPal, which began rolling out its passkey support for iPhone, iPad, and macOS Ventura on October 24th.
Here’s what the tech giants are doing.
Apple was the first to make passkey support widely available. The organization made a big splash in September with the introduction of passkeys for its latest iOS version, followed by support for macOS Ventura in October. Based on FIDO standards, the Apple passkeys allow you to log in to websites and apps with Face ID or Touch ID.
The iOS or macOS device stores the passkey in the iCloud keychain, which enables the passkeys to sync between your Apple devices. The keychain uses end-to-end encryption, which means the private key is encrypted while stored in the cloud.
Apple also allows logins with passkeys on non-Apple devices or shared devices (such as a library computer) with a QR code. This option, however, isn’t as seamless. So if you don’t want to rely on your iCloud-based backup, password managers like Dashlane now also offer the option to store passkeys.
Google began rolling out initial passkey support in mid-October for developers as part of its beta program. Chrome passkey support for mobile devices is already available, and the company said support for other environments, including Android apps, would be available soon.
It’s uncertain how long it will take for the passkey option to roll down to end users. When it does, you’ll be able to use your fingerprint, face, or device’s security PIN to enable passkeys, which will be synced through the cloud with Google’s Password Manager. You’ll also be able to log in to a supported app or website on your computer if your phone is nearby.
For some time, Microsoft has been offering several passwordless options, including the Microsoft Authenticator app, SMS codes, and FIDO security keys, for commercial customers using Azure Active Directory. In mid-September, the organization announced that you’ll be able to go passwordless “with just a few clicks”—and completely remove passwords from your Microsoft Windows or Office 365 account. Instead, you’ll be able to log in to your Microsoft apps like Office 365 and OneDrive with Microsoft Authenticator.
You can remove the password from your Microsoft account through the security settings. Once you set up Authenticator, you can log in by simply approving the pop-up notification. Additionally, the organization plans to start rolling out other options to all users, including biometrics and hardware authentication tokens.
In August, Dashlane was the first password manager to introduce integrated passkey support and offer an in-browser passkey solution. Now, you can log in across all types of sites with Dashlane—including those that support the new passwordless authentication and those that require a password.
Plus, you can store your passkeys for multiple sites and benefit from the same convenience and security you already have with your passwords. You’ll enjoy “automagic” logins, seamless operation across multiple platforms, and our patented zero-knowledge security architecture, which means no one except you can access your logins. (Not even Dashlane can access them.) And just like any data you store in your vault, Dashlane encrypts your private key with the same end-to-end encryption technology used in secure communication apps such as Signal and iMessage.
Unlike the other passwordless methods discussed above, Dashlane is a universal solution agnostic of the device or platform you’re using. Whether you’re storing passwords or passkeys, Dashlane’s zero-knowledge security architecture means your data is safe.
The Dashlane passkey solution is currently in tech preview and will be available to Dashlane users in the coming weeks.
At Dashlane, we’re excited to be a part of the passwordless future. Passwords aren’t going away just yet, but being at the forefront of passwordless authentication means we can offer you seamless and user-friendly experiences no matter what authentication options you choose.