Breaking Free from Passwords in Telecommunications


By:Cameron D’Ambrosi and Gilad Rosner

Passwordless authentication telecommunications

As the world becomes increasingly digital, identity verification is becoming a more critical issue than ever before. Two trends shaping the future of digital consumer identity in the telecommunications industry are the death of the password and the rise of electronic identification solutions (eIDs).

Passwords are quickly becoming outdated due to the rise of data breaches, phishing attacks, and other cybersecurity threats. Passwordless authentication, powered by FIDO2, is emerging as a game-changing solution. With FIDO2, users can authenticate themselves using a mobile device, removing the burden of remembering complex passwords and eliminating the threat of phishing and credential-stuffing fraud attacks.

eIDs allow users to verify their identity online through a secure, government-issued, digital identity credential, often stored in a mobile app. eIDs offer users, governments, and businesses greater security, convenience, and accessibility. With a digital ID credential, users can easily access online services and conduct transactions without needing to scan physical identification documents and capture a selfie. The rollout of FIDO2 passwordless authentication is set to accelerate the adoption of eID, as secure authentication methods are critical to protecting eID users from fraud.

The shift towards passwordless authentication and the rise of eIDs represent important trends in digital identity. Passwordless authentication is more secure and user-friendly than legacy multi-factor authentication methods such as SMS OTP, which has vulnerabilities that can be exploited. eIDs offer a compelling alternative to traditional forms of identity verification and will become an increasingly important part of our digital lives in the years ahead.

The telecommunications industry can and must play a role in making digital identity more accessible and secure. At this year’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, the GSMA announced its Open Gateway initiative, which provides access to mobile networks for developers through a common API framework. Five of the platform’s eight announced APIs are directly tied to digital identity use cases. Smartphones are integral to deploying passwordless authentication and eIDs, and signals from mobile networks must play a primary role in how consumers create and manage these credentials.

These digital identity trends offer greater security, convenience, and accessibility to consumers and are likely to become an increasingly important part of our digital lives in the years ahead. Collaboration with the telecommunications industry will be necessary to make these trends a reality,  make digital identity more accessible and secure, and provide consumers with a more seamless and user-friendly experience.

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