Passwordless Experience Options on Microsoft Azure

March 14, 2023
3 min read
Last update:
May 27, 2023

Passwords provide the first line of defense against cyber-attacks and prevent cybercriminals from unauthorized logical access. However, around 80% of data breaches are the result of weak or reused passwords. It means that passwords provide a false sense of protection. Instead of all the efforts to remember long and complicated passwords or change them from time to time, the right answer to the global password problem is to go passwordless.

Passwordless authentication is a way of a user’s identity verification without the use of a password. Instead, users use safer alternatives such as a device they have. Therefore, passwordless authentication methods are more convenient. FIDO(Fast Identity Online), which is an open standard for passwordless authentication, enables users and organizations to leverage the standard to sign into their accounts and resources without a username or password using an external security key. FIDO Authentication provides a simpler user experience with stronger security.

Microsoft Azure users have three options for passwordless authentication: Microsoft Authenticator app, Windows Hello, and several FIDO security key solutions. Let’s dive a bit deeper into each and see which one is the best option.

Microsoft Authenticator app

Microsoft Authenticator is a multi-factor authentication application for mobile devices which makes password-less sign-ins possible for Microsoft accounts on PCs. Once you set up Microsoft Authenticator, you will get a time-sensitive six or eight-digit code that you must enter when logging into any accounts you've set up with 2FA.

However, Microsoft Authenticator is kind of a legacy MFA and is not completely secure. The main problem is that the Microsoft authenticator itself is not phishing-resistant. Users must additionally configure conditional access policy requiring managed device to get protected against external phishing threats.

Windows Hello

Another option for Microsoft users to experience passwordless authentication is through Windows Hello. It is a new way to sign into devices, apps, or online services, which is more secure than using a password, because it uses "biometric authentication" such as face ID or fingerprint (or only a PIN as another authentication factor).

It may be good for businesses, but it is enough for dedicated computers only. Users have no way to access their accounts from outside the company (for example, from home). This is where other newer solutions such as FIDO2 and its roaming authentication capability comes to the rescue.


FIDO2 Security Keys

 Security keys based on the FIDO standard, such as IDmelon Authenticator, offer a phishing-resistant passwordless authentication method and can come in any form factor. Solutions based on Fast IDentity Online (FIDO), which is an open standard for passwordless authentication, fill the gaps in Microsoft Authenticator and Windows Hello and can be the best option to experience strong passwordless authentication.


IDmelon Passwordless Solution

IDmelon, as one of the pioneers of providing passwordless solutions and the one and only company that enables organization to manage FIDO2 security keys, offers a scalable, overnight deployable, and easy to use passwordless mothed of authentication for Microsoft Azure users. IDmelon with enterprise features, such as SSO for SSO and Security Key Policy creation, is one of the best options for Azure users to use their existing devices like smartphones, contactless cards or any other type of security keys to experience an easy and secure passwordless login to their all applications.  

IDmelon simplifies the whole passwordless transition for both end-users and IDmelon bringing unrivalled benefits to companies. Users can log in easily and securely using the devices they already own and simple methods they are familiar with and feel comfortable with. They can focus on their organizational tasks with high productivity levels knowing that their identities and data are protected against cyber-security threats. IDmelon Passwordless Orchestration Platform empowers IT admins to deploy and manage the overall passwordless project within their organizations, right from behind their desks, with only a few clicks, helping save both time and money.