Google is one of those companies who have the manpower and funding to throw anything they can think of at the wall, just to see what sticks. Sometimes, the things that stick work out quite well, while others might not. One of their recent pet projects involves finding a way for users to access platforms and services without needing a password. Blockchain technology can play a big role in achieving this goal.
Google Tests A New Spin on Mobile Authentication
This is not the first time Google has tinkered with a way to remove the need for passwords when logging into services and platforms. While the most recent test is only suitable for accessing Google Services, there is no reason the idea couldn’t be taken to a grander stage once everything works the way it should.
The plan is to let users access Google services with their mobile device, rather than typing in a password or loading it from the vault of a password manager. Authenticating the mobile device in question is a key element of this process, as the user will receive notifications on this device to access the account on a different device.
Google is keeping user security in mind as one of the top priorities and requires the mobile device to be unlocked by the owner before the notification is displayed. Once that step has been completed, the user can then reject or approve access to the device attempting to access the platform in question.
It is important to note this new form of authentication will not replace traditional username-and-password logins, as both solutions will coexist for the time being. As one would come to expect from this new service by Google, deactivating a lost or sold device and replacing it with a new one is possible as well.
This move should help alleviate some of the — rightful — concerns associated with password security. Consumers choose the same password for multiple services far too often, compromising their data. Furthermore, by removing the need for password-protected logins, phishing attacks by hackers will have less success.
Some people may see this new field trial as a direct competitor for Google Authenticator, a commonly used two-factor authentication tool by users all over the world. At the same time, a tool that is being used by millions of people is attracting a lot of unwanted attention from hackers, and diversifying the offerings is a smart move by the tech giant.
Truth be told, it appears as if Google is taking a page out of Yahoo’s playbook. The latter company announced their new Yahoo Account Key feature a few months ago, which links a user’s mobile device with their account. Operation-wise, Google’s new solution seems to work in identical fashion.
Blockchain-based Authentication Is More Secure
Despite the best efforts by both Yahoo and Google, there is hardly such a thing as an incorruptible solution for authentication. The only real solution available right now is embracing blockchain technology to create a new digital authentication token, linked to a private key that only the user owns and controls at all times.
Keeping in mind how the Internet of Things initiative is aiming to connect all of the devices at our disposal, a unified solution that works cross-platform has to be created. For example, if someone wants to access Gmail on their computer, but doesn’t have their mobile device on them, they should still be able to access that service without a password.
Blockchain technology can be a powerful ally in this regard as this innovation is compatible on all platforms in existence. Regardless of whether a user accesses a PC, console, mobile device, or anything else connected to the Internet, the blockchain will always be accessible. This makes the technology a prime candidate to create secure and proper authentication systems anyone in the world can use.
What are your thoughts on the future of user authentication services? Will blockchain technology play a big role in the future of these services? Let us know in the comments below!
Source: The Verge
Images courtesy of Google, Shutterstock