PYMNTS MonitorEdge May 2024

Firms Tap Passkeys to Safeguard Connected Economy Digital Infrastructure

With cyberthreats evolving in sophistication and frequency, firms are constantly seeking robust solutions to strengthen their digital defenses. 

Passkeys have emerged as a player in this space, offering a more secure alternative to traditional authentication methods. 

First introduced in 2022, the passwordless technology is based on industry standards developed by the Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and the FIDO Alliance, an industry organization working to enhance internet security by streamlining sign-in processes, and reducing the need for passwords. 

Tech giants like Google, Apple, PayPal, and eBay have been at the forefront of the trend, championing the adoption of a seamless, passwordless login experience facilitated by passkeys. 

Earlier this year, X (formerly Twitter) announced the launch of passkeys as a login option for its U.S. iPhone users, highlighting the benefits of enhanced security and a seamless login experience across devices.

“Since they are uniquely generated by your device, they are less vulnerable to security threats such as fraudulent, deceptive, or unauthorized attacks,” the company explained on its website.

Google, an early adopter of passkeys and member of the FIDO Alliance, echoes a similar sentiment, lauding passkeys as providing unparalleled protection against threats like phishing. “And since they’re stored on your local device, they cannot be guessed or reused helping keep your information secure against attackers,” Google notes on its website.

However, tech giants are not alone in embracing this trend.

Cybersecurity firm Keeper Security recently announced support for passkey management on iOS and Android mobile devices, adding to the growing list of proponents who tout passkeys as both easier to use and more resistant to cyberattacks. 

With the Keeper Vault, passkeys are securely generated, stored, and managed, facilitating easy access to websites and applications across all browsers and operating systems. Users can seamlessly retrieve their passkeys from their Keeper Vault, ensuring accessibility whether on desktop or mobile devices.

“Keeper is leading the way toward a secure, passwordless future by further expanding our support for passkeys,” Craig Lurey, CTO and co-founder of Keeper Security, said in a press release.

“As this exciting new authentication method grows in popularity, we understand that users need a platform that provides secure management of multiple login methods — including both passkeys and traditional passwords. In this hybrid world, Keeper provides a seamless experience across operating systems and devices.”

This heightened security feature is particularly crucial for the adoption of all-in-one apps, which streamline daily activities and offer users a more integrated and efficient experience.

According to findings detailed in a joint PYMNTS Intelligence-PayPal study, despite strong interest in the convenience of all-in-one everyday apps, concerns about data security remain a barrier to widespread adoption. 

Implementing two-factor authentication or passkeys for login emerged as the most effective strategy to address these security concerns and encourage user adoption, the study found. Notably, 25% of U.S. consumers cited this security feature as the most important one in an everyday app. 

In essence, the integration of passkeys into the digital ecosystem represents a shift toward security and convenience. And as cyberthreats increasingly evolve, embracing the security feature will be key to ensuring that the connected economy’s digital infrastructure remains fortified against malicious actors.