Windows Hello and Passport Help Windows 10 Security

Social Engineering, Cyber Security, Security, Windows DefenderSecurity is improving in Windows 10 with the introduction of Windows Hello and Windows Passport.  We’ve all grown tired of trying to manage our countless passwords across multiple applications. Multifactor authentication has improved on some security features while sometimes complicating our efforts to get access to needed on applications, particularly if the device we are using is different than the one we used before.

Now Microsoft is promising to ease our frustrations while maintaining the security of our systems and privacy. Windows Hello is intended to use personal biometrics to unlock your systems based on data that is uniquely yours.

This technology will employ asymmetric key cryptography where the combination of public and private keys have been utilized in many current services to share identity across public networks. Under this technology, compromising a network server for user information would not yield anything of value to the black hats, since the public keys that are associated with a user account are intended to be just that, public. The bad guy would need to actually have your device, and your personal biometrics in order to access your data. Using this technology has had excellent success, yielding a false identification rate of only 1 in 100,000 attempts.

The trick, of course, if that Hello will require hardware that is compliant with the service. This could include fingerprint readers, illuminated IR sensor, or others biometrics sensors. Currently being support are RealSense sensors from Intel. Microsoft said that all PCs incorporating the Intel F200 RealSense 3D Camera will support the facial and iris unlock features of Windows Hello, including the automatic sign-in to Windows, as well as unlocking “Passport” without the need for a PIN.

Hello will not work with an ordinary webcam. In fact, the IR camera is intended to provide excellent performance even under low light conditions. Hello will work with existing fingerprint sensors.

While your image will not be stored on your local PC and Hello will not send your biometric identity over the network.  It will unlock Passport, and that will serve as an identifying token to confirm your identity to Windows web services, Azure Active Directory and other sites that work with these technologies. Microsoft has also joined the FIDO alliance to support replacing passwords with a growing set of financial, consumer, and other security services over time.

Recent news revealed that a single group had collected 1.2 billion user names and passwords from websites they hacked. Since there only about 2 billion users online today, the odds that your account has been compromised in some way are pretty good. Clearly, something needs to be done that can stem the tide of bad news we’ve seen repeated too often. By eliminating passwords, still a very ambitious goal, the online world can become safer for all of us.

Select the Start button, then select Settings > Accounts > Sign-in options to set up Windows Hello. Under Windows Hello, you’ll see options for face, fingerprint, or iris if your PC has a fingerprint reader or a camera that supports it. Once you’re set up, you’ll be able to sign in with a quick swipe or glance.

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