Microsoft announced that it’s embracing passkey support while also pulling back on its traditional password support. Users will be now able to set passkeys via Windows Hellow for their computers.
Now, IT departments can completely replace passwords for passkeys on devices that support Windows 11 and Windows Hello for Business. This comes after several years of a sharp rise in phishing scams and hacker activity targeting companies using stolen employee credentials.
Unlike traditional passwords, passkeys rely on biometrics and cryptographic keys, preventing anyone except authorized users from logging into a device. Using passkeys prevents hackers from being able to use stolen credentials to log into your account, even if they steal your computer.
“Passkeys are the cross-platform, cross-ecosystem future of accessing websites and applications,” explains Microsoft in a blog post. “For the past several years we have been committed to working with our industry partners and the FIDO Alliance to further the passwordless future with passkeys.”
Alongside the adoption of passkeys and the enhanced security using Microsoft Teams for Business, Windows is also introducing several new features, including its brand new Config Refresh option.
This feature will reset security settings and system configurations at set intervals (default of 90 minutes).
“We often uncover threat actors launching attacks designed to evade security measures by changing settings and system configurations,” Microsoft shared.
Windows Defender is also adding credit monitoring capabilities, alerting users to suspicious or malicious activity with their credit score. This greatly improves Defender’s identity protection features.
Finally, Windows is including a new privacy protection shield.
“It reduces online tracking and protects against bad actors on unsecured network and enables users to hide their IP address and location from websites, apps, and advertisers that may attempt to track online activity to collect personal data.”
Recent advances in AI technology, alongside human testing, allowed Microsoft to build and test these new features.