Windows Hello: A world without passwords

March 13th, 2019
Windows Hello: A world without passwords

Users can now protect and access their devices without the need for a password. Windows Hello uses facial recognition, iris-scanning, and fingerprint-reading biometric authentication technology to provide a more user-friendly and secure method of logging in to devices and applications.

It debuted with the release of Windows 10 in 2015 and is available on a variety of devices, including Surface Pro and Surface Book, and selected models from Lenovo, Dell, HP, and other manufacturers.

How does it work?

According to Anoosh Saboori, senior program manager lead at Microsoft, Windows Hello allows users to authenticate their identities by setting up a gesture — whether a facial scan, iris scan, or fingerprint — to log in to a device. It also uses anti-spoofing techniques to beef up the system’s security even more. With this technology, a glance at the device or scan of a finger will unlock Microsoft accounts, applications, and even third-party applications that use application programming interface (API).

Over time, users can improve these gestures and add or remove additional fingerprints. What’s more, by adopting the fast identity online (FIDO) specification, software partners can deliver innovative Windows Hello companion devices that cater to both consumers’ and businesses’ needs.

Benefits of using Windows Hello

Passwords and multilayered authentication simply won’t cut it anymore in this age of human forgetfulness. This is why security-minded users know that Windows Hello is the safer option, not to mention that it’s also the more convenient choice. By adopting Windows Hello into first- and third-party applications, various industries are embracing the future without passwords.

But like any other milestones in the technology, adopting password-free authentication methods can be difficult for businesses, which is why Microsoft is now working with a growing number of service providers. MSPs can help users transition to authenticating multiple accounts using Windows Hello. Among the apps in the market today, Dropbox, Enpass, OneDrive, One Messenger, and OneLocker Password Manager are compatible with Windows Hello.

Hardware requirements

Windows Hello is user-friendly, and it comes with minimal hardware requirements. You’re going to need devices that are equipped with fingerprint scanners and cameras that can capture two-dimensional infrared spectroscopy. There’s a full list of supported hardware here.

To make it more accessible, Microsoft is working with device manufacturers to keep the high-level of performance and security for the users. According to Microsoft’s guidelines, they make sure the gestures’ false accept rates are at a minimum — 0.002% for fingerprint sensors 0.001% for facial recognition. What’s more, they keep the false reject rates in devices without anti-spoofing or liveness detection at bay — under 5% for fingerprint and facial recognition and under 10% for facial recognition scanners.

How to set up Windows Hello

To get started with Hello, click the gear icon on your Start bar to open the Settings window. From there, choose Account and then Sign-in options. Under the Windows Hello section, you’ll choose between face, iris, or fingerprint scans. Select the gesture you want to set up and follow the prompts to create a login profile.

To boost accuracy, save your biometric data or do the scan repeatedly. It’s ideal to complete a few scans before enabling the login feature.

If you’re sharing your device with your coworkers, you can start adding employees or other users after setting up your account. Each of them can set up their own biometric profile in a separate account.

Given people’s obsession with convenience and efficiency, Windows Hello will become a standard feature across devices. Is your business ready to adopt this innovation? Forum-Info Tech will help you transition to this advance in cybersecurity. Contact our experts now.