Passwords are problematic. They can be costly and burdensome for businesses to manage, can cause poor user experience, and they are easily compromised. It’s no wonder, then, that many enterprises are expected to shift to passwordless authentication for users as part of an overall digital transformation.
A passwordless solution
The introduction of passwordless authentication throws out any reliance on passwords and delivers a better user experience, less headaches for the IT guys and better levels of security.
However, we haven’t quite arrived at the point where passwordless authentication is easily achievable. It is difficult for any organization to solve access challenges with any one single passwordless solution. And it’s no different for firms in the legal sector. Complex and hybrid IT environments, administrative and running costs and compliance regulations all provide headaches when trying to serve up a universal solution.
Firms have witnessed a massive increase in mobile devices use among their workforces. And for any of their people, having to enter multiple passwords in order to access all available resources from a mobile device is fundamentally challenging. Especially so for key workers (top fee-earners), for whom access issues (and the associated downtime) can prove to be ultimately costly to their firm.
Better user experience (UX)
We are all still grappling with a degree of remote working. And without knowing for sure if or when firms will reopen their office doors to their people, remote working will continue to be the norm. Remote teams rely on multiple applications, networks and servers to get their job done.
For any large firm, the number of tools people depend on can be overwhelming. For ideal UX, you want to simplify access for your people with a single mobile app solution – however simple or complex the firm’s authentication needs might be. A passwordless approach means that not only are your people not required to remember complicated passwords and comply with different security policies, they also don’t have to periodically renew passwords.
Ideally you want your people to enjoy the same user experience on their mobile devices that they get on their PCs. True mobility for your fee-earners means removing the need for a PC in order to reset passwords, for example.
Mobile devices now have just as much access to your organization’s information as traditional endpoints. As your people continue to work away from the office, your employees’ reliance on mobile devices is only increasing. As firms get to grip with the fact that a degree of remote working will become permanent for many of their employees, they are reconsidering their approach to mobile. And with personal (or personally enabled devices) increasingly permitted, firms should look to adopt a zero trust approach.
In effect, this places greater importance on identifying the real-time health of a user’s device and the ability to provide conditional access to corporate data as a result. Passwords are known to be a weak point in computer systems and are regarded as a soft target by cybercriminals.
Indeed, password hacking is responsible for a huge percentage of security breaches. Such breaches, particularly those of high-ranking staff or IT administrators carry risks to data and IT systems. Weak or stolen credentials highlight the need for organizations to rely on more than just passwords to secure accounts.
A passwordless solution places less burden on IT
In a passwordless environment, no password storage or management is needed. Therefore, IT teams are no longer burdened by setting password policies, detecting leaks, resetting forgotten passwords and having to comply with password storage regulation. It’s fair to say that for many helpdesk teams, password reset requests will be the most commonly asked-for thing (from users).
Past research has determined that for some larger organizations, up to $1 million per year can be spent on staffing and infrastructure to handle password resets alone. Resetting passwords is probably not a particularly complex issue for most IT departments to deal with, but it’s the sheer number of requests makes handling these requests an extremely time-consuming task.
Just how much time does that take away from helpdesks on a daily, weekly or monthly basis? It’s one of those hidden costs that your firm will be incurring that can be streamlined by giving people passwordless connections into their environment.
Passwords remain a weakness for those trying to secure customer and corporate data and passwords are the number one target of cyber criminals. For IT departments, passwords are a burden in myriad ways. For your top fee earners, time is of the essence – it can’t be wasted trying to resolve login issues or waiting on a reset. There’s every good reason for your firm to dump passwords and move to a passwordless solution.