Remembering multiple passwords might be the bane of our existence but Apple might have a solution to do away with them entirely. It may sound odd, but passwords are a very poor security system.
Apple ‘passkeys’ are due to arrive this month with the iOS 16, macOS Ventura and iPadOS 16 updates could very well replace your passwords.
Passkeys — Apple’s alternative for multiple passwords — use Touch ID or Face ID for biometric verification which will be synced to an iCloud Keychain across your iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple TV with end-to-end encryption.
What are Passkeys?
Passkeys are unique digital keys that are more secure as they are never stored on a web server and stay on your device. Even if hackers do break into your devices, they can’t steal Passkeys or trick users into sharing them.
Passkeys are based on something called ‘public key cryptography’ where there’s a secret private key stored on your device and a separate public key that’s stored on a web server.
The information will be stored on an iCloud Keychain allowing you to be in sync across your devices. So even if you don’t have your iPhone on you, you can recover your key using the iCloud Keychain.
And it means you can’t be tricked into handing over a password through phishing – because you won’t have any information to hand across.
The ultimate plan is to allow Passkeys to work on non-Apple devices too, including Windows laptops and Android phones.
Microsoft and Google have both been developing passwordless systems for years.
Our Cyber Security and Electronic Counter Measures Director, Gurpreet Thathy has been following this subject closely.
“As technology changes, so do the risks and threats. This is a good security upgrade in this present time, especially after the data breach that occurred for Last Pass, a password manager, earlier this year. What Apple has created is a step up from password managers, and you will be able to use it across multiple platforms which is critical. Users are always the first line of defence, and technology cannot stop everything. In time, like all technology, there will be vulnerabilities identified; however, it is up to us to stay up to date with the latest threats and techniques to ensure we minimise the risk of a security breach.”
Once iOS 16 is fully live, make sure to download and install it as soon as possible. It could save you from dangerous security breaches.