Microsoft Enables Password-Free Account Sign In For Android And iOS Smartphone Users
Mobile device users can now add their account to a Android or iOS Microsoft Authenticator app. When a user signs in somewhere new, they will be prompted to enter their username. Users then will get a notification on their phone that their device is being accessed. The user till then tap “Approve” on their device in order to approve of the sign-in.
According to Microsoft, “This process is easier than standard two-step verification and significantly more secure than only a password, which can be forgotten, phished, or compromised.” The PINs and fingerprints that many users also add to their phone will simply add to this extra layer of password-free security
If you already utilize the Microsoft Authenticator, you will simply need to click on the drop-down button in the account tile, and choose “Enable phone sign-in”. Android users will be prompted to set-up the Microsoft Authenticator, while it will be automatically be set up on iPhones. If a user does not have their mobile device nearby, a link at the bottom of the confirmation page will let them choose to use a password instead. Users will also be able to switch between a password and Microsoft Authenticator.
Microsoft Authenticator does not currently work on Windows Phones. The company stated, “Windows Phone makes up <5% of the active users of our Authenticator Apps so we have prioritized getting this working with iOS and Android for now. If/When it becomes a big success on those high scale platforms, we will evaluate adding support for Windows Phone.”
Microsoft also recently received a patent for an iris scanner. The patented technology includes "liveness testing," which would be able to tell when there is a real eyeball staring into the camera and IR sensors. The company hopes to include this security-related technology on devices such as the HoloLens.