Microsoft said today that the number of people who use its passwordless login solutions has now reached 150 million, up from 100 million reported last November at the Microsoft Ignite conference.
The number covers users of Microsoft online services like Azure, GitHub, Office, and Xbox, the company said, in a blog post celebrating World Password Day.
This includes users who employ Windows Hello (fingerprint and facial recognition) to access Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) networks, and users who employ the official Microsoft Authenticator app and FIDO2-based security keys to log into various online accounts without passwords.
Microsoft says that one of its current goals is to push and support users to adopt either multi-factor authentication (MFA) or passwordless login solutions to secure their accounts.
The company cites the improved security features of an MFA or passwordless account when compared to accounts secured only by passwords, which most users tend to reuse, exposing accounts to easy hacks.
Microsoft said last year that MFA blocks 99.9% of all account takeover (ATO) attacks and that MFA bypass attacks are so rare the company doesn’t even have good statistics on these types of hacks.
Redmond also says that beyond improved account security, passwordless login solutions often also come with an economical benefit, namely in the form of reduced tech support costs, as employees don’t have a password to forget and reset.
Internally, most of Microsoft’s staff has already made the move to passwordless systems, according to Joy Chik, Corporate Vice President, Microsoft Identity.
“Microsoft’s IT team switched to passwordless authentication and now 90 percent of Microsoft employees sign in without entering a password,” Chik said. “As a result, hard and soft costs of supporting passwords fell by 87 percent.”
Additional reading: The password problem: How to use 2FA to improve your online security