Ride the Lightning

Cybersecurity and Future of Law Practice Blog
by Sharon D. Nelson Esq., President of Sensei Enterprises, Inc.

Your Microsoft Accounts Can Go Fully Passwordless

September 22, 2021

As The Verge reported on September 15, Microsoft now lets you remove passwords from Microsoft accounts and enter the passwordless future. Microsoft allows customers to sign into Microsoft accounts with its Microsoft Authenticator app, Windows Hello, a security key, or an SMS / email verification code instead of a password.

This new option arrives after Microsoft started rolling out passwordless authentication for commercial users in March to help people adjust to the realities of remote work. “When I think of security, I think you’ve got to protect your whole life,” says Vasu Jakkal, corporate vice president of Microsoft security, compliance & identity, in an interview with The Verge. “It’s no longer enough just to think about work or home and anything in between.”

Microsoft has been heading toward a passwordless future for years, and the pandemic has only accelerated things. “When you have digital transformation and businesses having to go remote overnight … the number of digital surfaces has increased exponentially,” explains Jakkal. “The number of attack surfaces has increased exponentially, so that was a big driving factor for us in accelerating a lot of our security initiatives.”

“We have been rolling this out at Microsoft and nearly 100 percent of Microsoft is now passwordless,” says Jakkal. More than 200 million people are already using passwordless options, and Jakkal is optimistic about consumer adoption.

How do you go passwordless? It’s a simple process. You’ll need to have the Microsoft Authenticator mobile app installed and linked to your personal Microsoft Account. Then go to account.microsoft.com and choose advanced security options. Select “enable passwordless accounts” in the additional security section. You then approve the change from your Authenticator app and you’ll be password free. You can always reverse the change and add a password back to your Microsoft account in the future.

I am not sure why you would want to, but you could.

Sharon D. Nelson, Esq., President, Sensei Enterprises, Inc.
3975 University Drive, Suite 225, Fairfax, VA 22030
Email: Phone: 703-359-0700
Digital Forensics/Cybersecurity/Information Technology