Microsoft announced Tuesday it will now support USB security keys, which give Microsoft account holders the ability to log into their computers and accounts without a username or password at all.
The passwords will support users across the range of Microsoft services, including Outlook, Office, OneDrive, Bing, Skype and Xbox Live, according to the company. Microsoft will support keys from well-known names Yubikey and the FEITIAN Biopass key, which retail for between $20 and $60. The keys are USB key fobs that users can insert into their USB-enabled devices.
"Passwords are bad for the planet. They're bad for people. They're the easiest way for attackers to get in, and in the case of account takeovers, they're even a way to force people out," said Rob Lefferts, vice president of security at Microsoft.
The average worker has well over 100 passwords to maintain, and the majority of data breaches that plague companies are the result of some kind of compromise to user passwords, according to several sources, including Microsoft and password security company LastPass.