New Web Standard Plans to Replace Passwords with Biometrics and USB Tokens

Technology > Security

password between binary numbers/ Photo By Psyomjesus via Wikimedia Commons


Passwords are the hallmark of digital security and have been used for many years. But with a large number of apps and websites, entering the same password over and over again can be troublesome. So, web browser developers plan to adopt a new standard for security called WebAuthn for 2018.

New Security Standard for Web Browsing

Passwords, PIN codes, and pattern locks are some of the common security implementations for devices, apps, and websites. In some devices, other security options such as biometric scanners, retina scanners, and face recognition may be used as well. All of these security measures are designed to protect personal information and maintain privacy. But for millions of users, the use of a password is the usual choice.

Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Microsoft Edge are supporting WebAuthn, a new open web standard, to remove the implementation of passwords from the internet. The new standard will implement the use of either biometrics or USB tokens.

For example, when a user visits an online store like Amazon, they need to insert the USB token to the computer in order to gain access without the need for a password. The main benefit of this method is that users do not need to keep remembering their passwords. The possible downside is the vulnerability to theft or loss that may provide hackers with a way to invade personal accounts.

On the other hand, the use of biometrics is likely going to be used in mobile devices due to the rise of fingerprint scanners. Users can easily open and secure apps and data with a set of fingerprints. But the drawback is they may need to spend more money for advanced smartphones.

While the new standard aims to replace passwords online, it will still require more time to become a widespread security implementation. For now, WebAuthn is expected to become a secondary security option.