Passwordless Authentication with WebAuthn
Passwordless authentication allows users to log in without the need of remembering a password. Instead of conventional username and password,WebAuthn allows you to use the login methods already set up on your device. So using Web Authentication, you would be able to use the fingerprint sensor on your phone, or Windows Hello on your PC, or you could even use your Apple ID to login into any website.
The supported methods include but are not limited to:
- Windows Hello
- Fingerprint Sensors on both Laptops/Mobiles
- Windows PIN
- Face Authentication
Most of the users might use the same credentials for different systems. This substantially weakens the security of all those websites if the credentials are leaked or obtained by an unauthorized user. Web Authentication is a fairly new specification, created for the new age of the internet and new technologies therein. Giving us the resources and the infrastructure to use various authentication methods.
Unlike its predecessor, WebAuthn should be here to stay. Although the fine points of the spec are complex, Web Authentication has been fairly easy to implement in practice. At the time of writing this, both Chrome and Firefox have the data types necessary for WebAuthn, and Firefox’s Nightly Build is able to create and request credentials. We’ll talk a bit later on about what this new standard could mean for the future of passwords (sorry, they’re probably not going away tomorrow), but first, a bit more about the core components of the WebAuthn API.
Web Authentication vs Conventional Authentication Methods
The big thing that WebAuthn wants to provide is biometric multi-factor authentication based on “Something a user is.” A user (in most cases) has a voice, a fingerprint, or a retina, that is unique to them. Something most users also have nowadays is a biometric device, like a smartphone, that can use this data to create and manage credentials that only the user can access through these unique traits.
To see implementations of WebAUthn in real life, you can go to Github, who natively supports Web Authentication as a login method. For a web demo, you can have a look at the entire implementation here.
Enabling WebAuthn for your WordPress Website
miniOrange currently is the only way to reliably get WebAUthn working on your WordPress website. Using our Two Factor Authentication plugin, you will be able to use Web Authentication as a second factor.
miniOrage provides a secure two-factor authentication mechanism plugin for multiple platforms (WordPress, Atlassian, Drupal, Magento & Moodle) which adds an extra layer of security to your company’s databases and website. Through these plugins, you will get access to several authentication methods that can restrict the user’s credentials from being shared with anyone, on purpose, or by accident.
When the user enters his/her correct username and password they are prompted with a second-factor authentication page, in order to login successfully. We offer 15+ authentication methods which include OTP over Email, OTP over SMS, hardware token, QR code authentication, Google authenticator etc.