Home Awesome The Future of Internet Passwords & What “WebAuthn” Means For Businesses

The Future of Internet Passwords & What “WebAuthn” Means For Businesses


“Did I capitalize the first letter or did I use the special character? ”

“Shoot … I entered the incorrect password too many times and now I’m locked out.”

“Looks like someone hacked my account! How is that even possible with my extra strong password? I even utilized an asterisk…”

Ever said these things when attempting to access your favorites web-based app, social, or shopping website?

Unfortunately … it happens to the best of us.

Logging in by entering a username and password( or authenticating as a user) on a website has been the standard by which we’ve grown up with online — but soon that may all change.

The Problems with Passwords

Despite it being fairly painless in theory( and sometimes practice ), passwords create some real challenges 😛 TAGEND

With the number of websites users access every day( from personal banking to work-based project management ), passwords become numerous and difficult to remember

Passwords are the culprit to over 80% of data breaches

In general, despite the interface being simplistic, it creates friction with users.

If you’ve ever had to enter your phone number to get a code in order to login, go back to your email after creating an account in order to verify the account, or use the “Forgot My Password” link, you know what I’m talking about…

Defines A New Web Standard

Solving for the above is no easy undertaking, especially considering it’s been the standard for businesses across the globe for years.

However, on March 4, 2019, the World Wide Web Consortium( W3C – the group responsible for establishing the standards by which people build on and interact with the world wide web ), officially announced a new standard of user authentication designed to replace the use of and need for passwords. W3C refers to this as WebAuthn which stands for “Web Authentication.”

According to W3C, enabling the WebAuthn standard, “gives users the option to log in more easily via biometrics, mobile devices, and/ or FIDO security keys, and with much higher security over passwords alone.”

For reference, the FIDO security model, “eliminates the risks of phishing, all forms of password steal and replay attacks.”

While W3C has only recently appointed WebAuthn as the new criterion, these new technologies has been in circulation for some time.

The Verge reports that, last year, Dropbox and Microsoft were two of the early adopters to integrate WebAuthn.

As this becomes more and more common, it could dramatically transform online user behavior.

Why Is This Important for Marketers& Businesses to Know?

So, you might be wondering … as a marketer, salesman, or business leader, “why should I care about this? ”

Clearly, WebAuthn has a long road to travelling before achieving widespread adoption.

However, with the leading web-giants beginning to integrate this new standard, others will of course follow suit, and in the near future, will create a world where use typed-in passwords are no longer commonplace.

This means that the average, future internet user will learn to become accustomed to almost no-touch access to the places they run or things they use online.

Using passwords will feel like driving a vehicle without blind spot detecting or accessing an iPhone without fingerprint or facial recognition. Once we have these amenities, we don’t ever want to live without them.

In W3C’s press release, they referenced a statistic from a Yubico study stating, “users expend 10.9 hours per year entering and/ or resetting passwords, which costs companies an average of $5.2 million annually.”

As industries that leverage the internet and sort fills to produce traffic, results, and revenue, we need to understand that all of our potential customers and customers alike deeply value the removal of friction in the user experience in order to buy or use what you sell.

What Should We Do About It?

While this article specifically refers to improving a user’s online experience and better protecting their data through an improved authentication system, it speaks to a much broader topic: Stimulating it easier for your potential customers( and existing customers) to do business with you.

And … as industries we have to 😛 TAGEND

Get ahead of this. Eventually, WebAuthn will become the new industry criterion for all organizations that operate an online retail store, have a SaaS product, sell digital subscriptions, or simply have a login portal of any kind – and consumers will come to expect it.Investing in this technology ahead of the curve can have a dramatic impact on the way purchasers perceive your dedication to client experience.

Take action on how this new criterion can have a global influence on your marketing and sales. When was the last time you took a step back and analyzed how easy( or difficult) it is for a qualified, net-new prospect to buy from you? What things are standing in the way of them having a frictionless process from discovering your content and brand, to engaging with marketings, to signing an agreement? If we start with marketing, make sure you’re producing educational content on your website that answers the key questions all purchasers have as they’re determining which product or service is a good fit for them or their company. In other terms – make it easier for them to find the right answers, and in turn … find you.From a sales perspective, once we’ve determined a prospect is a good fit, reassess the number of stages they must go through in order to make a purchase. You may find that you’re forcing prospects to waste time on calls that are self-serving. For instance, instead of spending an hour with the prospect reviewing an estimate, could the review be created as a video and sent to the prospect to view with other stakeholders at their convenience?

In short, as technology continues to improve the digital lives of consumers, it is appropriate to force us as marketing and sales leaders to continuously reevaluate if we’re satisfying the inherent needs of prospects and clients in the best route: by reducing the friction in their capacity to do business with your organization and improving the ease at which they can become customers.

Read more: impactbnd.com


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