The Benefits of Passwordless Authentication in the K-8 Classroom, Part 2
The Benefits of Passwordless Authentication in the K-8 Classroom is the third of four blogs in our Passwordless Authentication in the K-8 Classroom series. In part two of this blog we’ll discuss the security benefits of passwordless MFA with Cloudwise COOL.
Real World Practice
With COOL Easy Login, school boards can engage even the youngest students in proper cyber security practices. Students take an active and authentic role in their own login experience, gaining practice and learning the benefits of multi-factor authentication in a way that is developmentally apporpriate. From their very first experiences using technology at school, students and teachers can engage in discussions on the importance of utilizing MFA, which will carry forward with students as they become teenagers and adults.
Multi Factor Authentication
Due to the age and ability of young learners, most current password policies for younger students involve little or no complexity. COOL Easy Login provides passwordless, multi factor authentication for students to access their accounts.
According to Microsoft, over 99% of account compromise attacks can be blocked by using MFA. Cloudwise COOL’s passwordless QR badge and picture combination provides two factors of authentication to secure student accounts without the need for cellphones, security keys or dedicated devices.
On board managed devices, students have the capability for passwordless authentication to their accounts using a QR badge and picture combination. However, students still have the ability to access their accounts from devices at home using a password. The benefit to this is two-fold. Firstly, the risk of a QR badge leaving the school and being lost or scanned is negated because the QR badges do not work outside of board managed devices. Secondly, school boards can create FGPPs with complex passwords knowing that these will run in the background and that students will not need to use them while at school. This adds additional layers of account security to student accounts.
Picture login has additional security features as well. The first is the randomization of where the picture icons appear during each login session. This prevents a student from viewing the area where a student is clicking and trying to replicate it the next time. The second is a lock out feature if repeated incorrect login attempts are made.
Reduction in the Impact of Phishing Attacks
Phishing attacks are one of the most common cyber security threats faced by school boards. By utilizing passwordless authentication, school boards greatly reduce the potential impact of a phishing attack. With passwordless authentication, there is no password for students to share, essentially eliminating the risk of phishing attacks against student accounts.
A key component to many of the passwordless technologies today are the utilization of trusted endpoints. Users need a trusted device (their own cell phone, a dedicated PC,etc.) to access their accounts. For student accounts this can be more challenging to implement as they (especially the youngest students) do not yet use cell phones.
With COOL Easy Login, QR Badge and Picture authentication will only work on board managed devices. This adds an additional layer of security to student accounts, eliminating the threat of the QR Badge being found and used from an unknown device.
Movement Towards Zero Trust Architecture
Passwordless authentication is one step towards a school board moving towards zero trust architecture. By securing the accounts of the youngest students, and reducing the threat of phishing attacks, passwordless authentication enhances the overall security posture of a school board and moves the board towards a zero trust posture.
COOL Easy Login is a fantastic tool for students. However, school boards may wish to choose different authentication methods for particular grades or schools. School boards have the choice to use QR badges on their own, or with one, two or three pictures. This can be configured by grades within a school, adding a level of complexity as students get older.
With Cloudwise COOL, school boards can also configure Easy Login based on the devices in each organizational unit, allowing the board full choice in how COOL Easy Login is deployed within the board.
Our final blog in the series is on A Road Map Towards Passwordless Authentication in the K-8 Classroom. We will be exploring the steps school boards can take to move towards passwordless authentication for their students.
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