Users will be able to use biometric authentication to access their Windows 10 devices using a new service called ‘Windows Hello.’ Windows Hello will be able to use your fingerprint, face, or iris to authenticate you and allow access to your device. In addition to Windows Hello, Microsoft has also announced a service code named ‘Passport’ that aids in authenticating users without storing a password on a server.
Windows Hello is more secure than a password. Passwords can be hacked or stolen but Windows Hello uses infrared scanners that are not fooled by pictures to read biometric information. Using infrared cameras also allows the facial recognition to work in different lighting conditions and through facial hair.
Windows Hello will work with existing fingerprint scanners once they upgrade to Windows 10. The face recognition and iris detection will work with any “OEM systems incorporating the Intel® RealSense™ 3D Camera (F200)” according to the Windows team.
The new services are entirely centered on security and Microsoft breaks down how security is ensured in the video below.
The service code named Passport is another line of security from Microsoft. A main feature of Passport is that passwords are never stored on a server so even if a server is hacked there are no passwords to find. Using either Biometric censors or a PIN for devices that do not have them, Windows 10 will verify that it is you trying to access the service.
Passport will work with Azure Directory Services. Microsoft explains in more detail their use of Passport with Azure and their alliance with FIDO:
“”Passport” also will work with thousands of enterprise Azure Active Directory services at launch, and Microsoft has joined the FIDO alliance to support replacing passwords with a growing set of financial, consumer, and other security services over time. Windows 10 will also have industry-leading security and identity protection for enterprises, so they can deploy new Windows 10 devices with hardware necessary to use Windows Hello, enabling enterprise-grade protection of the device and more secure password-free authentication to enterprise line of business applications.”
Passport and Windows Hello will not be mandatory security measures but rather options to add to enable more layers of security to Windows 10.