As a solution to security problems caused by forgetting passwords, Microsoft has implemented a passwordless option for its users. On September 15, 2021, the company announced that it will offer a “passwordless account” for all users of several popular services such as Microsoft Outlook and Microsoft OneDrive in the upcoming weeks. Initially, the account was only available to corporate accounts in March. According to Vasu Jakkal, the company’s corporate vice president of security, users can now remove the password of their Microsoft accounts. In lieu of passwords, Microsoft (MSFT) will allow users to sign in to their services with either the company’s Authenticator app, which generates a unique numbered login code every few seconds, or with Windows Hello, which lets users log in using facial recognition, a fingerprint or a unique pin. In addition, Microsoft users can also purchase an external security key or register a phone number to which Microsoft sends a verification code.

The decision came following a series of cyberattacks in 2020. As more employees adopt a work from home setting, hackers could gain more avenues to invade a company’s system—-and compromising passwords is one of their most frequent strategies. Microsoft has reported that 579 password attacks occur every second, resulting in up to 18 billion attacks a year. Based on cybersecurity experts, a person’s tendency to re-use the same password across accounts is an easy point of entry for hackers. Almost all of Microsoft’s own employees now log into their corporate accounts without passwords, Jakkal said.