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Microsoft has been working with a variety of hardware key manufacturers to give customers a rich set of choices for their passwordless solutions. In today’s post, we hear from Athena Chang from AuthenTrend, who describes the company’s flagship security key, ATKey.Pro. AuthenTrend is based in Taiwan and focuses on building biometric-based passwordless solutions.



The paradigm of in-office work has been shattered as a result of COVID-19

By Athena Chiang, Director of Business Development, AuthenTrend


The paradigm of in-office work has been shattered because of the pandemic. This transition to a permanent hybrid workforce forces organizations to adjust their security strategies to ensure that only the right user can remotely access sensitive systems. A growing number of AuthenTrend customers are asking about passwordless with biometrics as a more secure alternative to traditional passwords.


One customer illustrates the benefits of adopting a passwordless with biometrics solution. After adopting ATKeyPro, this manufacturing company decreased IT costs by 30% to 50% annually and eliminated the hassles of password reset. This improves the user experience because like many companies, employees were previously required to reset their passwords every three months.


This customer adopted the mobile authentication application, but most employees on the factory floor are not allowed to use mobile phones, and some executives are hesitant to use their personal phones for business purposes. At AuthenTrend’s suggestion, they migrated their solution from Active Directory and on-premises servers to a hybrid solution – Office 365 E3 with Azure Active Directory. They adopted ATKeyPro and ATKeyCard based on employees’ device usage.


Founded in 2016, AuthenTrend has one of the largest number of FIDO2 certifications in Taiwan and is the first fingerprint security key company to receive these certifications. Today, AuthenTrend is part of the Microsoft Intelligent Security Association (MISA), FIDO Alliance, RSA. The customer’s CTO trusts the fingerprints security key solution since AuthenTrend’s fingerprint sensor comes with a top industry-level FRR rate and smallest form factor.



Why your passwordless journey should include biometrics

That company’s concern about security is understandable. Consider these statistics on threats from a Microsoft Threat Intelligence report and the 2018 Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR):


  • 230% increase in password spray attacks in 2020

  • Nearly one in three of all attacks on enterprises involve phishing.

  • 81% of data breaches are caused by compromised, weak, and/or reused passwords.


A weak password does not protect against modern malware, phishing, or man-in-the-middle attacks. By moving from passwords to hardware-based security keys, organizations enable the most robust authentication form and mitigate the threat of account takeovers.

Multifactor authentication, such as secondary tokens or one-time codes, may not be enough to prevent cybercrime, according to a FBI Private Industry Notification (PIN) report. The report recommends that the addition of biometric factors and behavioral information checks to multifactor authentication approaches is crucial to protect identity. Bret Arsenault, CVP/CISO at Microsoft, also indicated that using biometrics as part of the Azure Active Directory multifactor authentication process boosts security by making it more difficult for backers to steal a person’s identity



Fingerprint-enabled authentication with Azure AD. With the expanded remote workforce, security and accountability risks increase and traditional authentication methods can’t absolutely ensure that the person signed-in is the authorized user. AuthenTrend partnered with Microsoft to offer biometrics solutions to secure this workforce.


Employees can use AuthenTrend’s FIDO2 fingerprint-enabled Security Keys to sign into their Azure Active Directory-joined or hybrid Azure AD-joined Windows 10 devices using single-sign-on for cloud and on-premises resources. Users can also sign in to supported browsers. With the fingerprint-matching requirement, enterprises can ensure that only authorized users can assess company information. It’s an option for highly security-sensitive enterprises or enterprises with scenarios or employees who aren’t willing or able to use their phones as a second factor.


AuthenTrends flagship product, ATKey.Pro, provides a fingerprint recognition security key that supports Fido2 and U2F. This lets users leverage standard devices to authenticate online services in both mobile and desktop environments. With AuthenTrend’s patented standalone enrollment technology, new users can register their fingerprints through the card or the USB key itself without using any supplemental enrollment app.



To learn more about AuthenTrend’s fingerprint-enabled security key solutions and how they can decrease IT costs visit the Azure commercial marketplace or reach out to AuthenTrend directly.



Learn more


I hope you’ve been inspired by AuthenTrend’s story of integrating its passwordless solutions with Azure AD. Microsoft is partnering with AuthenTrend on a pilot program if you’re a SMB or service provider and want to try Azure AD passwordless flow.



Learn more about Microsoft identity:

Brought to you by Dr. Ware, Microsoft Office 365 Silver Partner, Charleston SC.

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