It looks like the days of using passwords on the web may be finally coming to an end. The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has approved WebAuthn, a new authentication standard that aims to replace the password as a way of securing your online accounts.
WebAuthn (Web Authentication) is currently supported by most modern browsers, including Chrome, Firefox, Microsoft Edge, and Safari.
WebAuthn is an API that allows websites to communicate with a security device to let a user log into their service. This security device can be anything from a FIDO security key that you simply plug into a USB port on your computer to a biometric devices and mobile phones that allows for an additional level of verification.
WebAuthn is more secure than passwords and it’s simpler than having to remember a string of characters. A report stated that 81% of security breaches are due to weak or default passwords.
Now that the standard has been approved by the W3C, the next step is for websites to integrate the standard. Dropbox was one of the first to do so last year, and Microsoft did so soon after. The password isn’t on its last legs just yet, but after today’s announcement, WebAuthn is one step closer to being a viable alternative.