File picture: AP Photo/Paul Sakuma
File picture: AP Photo/Paul Sakuma

Cisco introduces passwordless authentication by Duo

By IANS Time of article published Mar 31, 2021

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New Delhi - Cisco Secure on Wednesday introduced passwordless authentication by security platform Duo, enabling users to skip the password and securely log into cloud applications via security keys or platform biometrics built into modern laptops and smartphones.

The consequences of using passwords are well known. Passwords are easily compromised and difficult to manage, costing enterprises billions of dollars annually.

Moreover, users are often inundated with passwords in their personal and professional lives. Password reset requests comprise a lion's share of IT help desk tickets, resulting in lost productivity for users and increased support costs for the business.

Duo passwordless authentication is part of Cisco's zero trust platform, securing access for any user, from any device, to any IT application or environment.

The product is designed to be infrastructure agnostic, paving the way to a passwordless future while ensuring that enterprises can seamlessly protect any combination of cloud and on-premises applications without requiring multiple authentication products or leaving critical security gaps, the company said at the Cisco Live 2021 event.

"Cisco has strived to develop passwordless authentication that meets the needs of a diverse and evolving workforce and allows the broadest set of enterprises to securely progress towards a passwordless future, regardless of their IT stack," Gee Rittenhouse, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Cisco's Security Business Group, said in a statement.

"It's not an overstatement to say that passwordless authentication will have the most meaningful global impact on how users access data by making the easiest path the most secure."

Duo passwordless authentication will simplify and strengthen authentication for accessing cloud applications protected by Duo single sign-on (SSO) and third-party SSO and identity providers, by leveraging security keys and platform biometrics such as Apple FaceID and TouchID, and Windows Hello.

Pairing passwordless authentication with Duo SSO enables organisations to consolidate hundreds of passwords and authentications into one easy login for users to cloud applications.

The authentication will also provide one security tool for all authentication scenarios thanks to Duo's compatibility with hundreds of applications and identity providers, with no infrastructure change required.

It will reduce risk of password-related threats and vulnerabilities such as phishing, stolen or weak passwords, password reuse, brute-force, man-in-the-middle attacks and password database compromise, Cisco said.

Duo passwordless authentication will be available for public preview beginning summer 2021 and general availability expected by the year's end.

--IANS

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