What is a Passkey

What is a Passkey? A Beginner’s Guide

By Tanya | April 18, 2024 2:52 am

Tired of forgetting passwords? A recent survey by the TechReport found that up to 65% of people use the same password for Various Accounts. This puts them at significant risk if one of those accounts gets hacked. But what if there was a more secure and convenient way to log in? This is where passkeys come in. They represent a revolutionary shift in online authentication, aiming to replace passwords altogether. Let's dive deeper into what passkeys are, how they work, and even integrate with workflow automation tools for ultimate efficiency.

What is a Passkey?

A passkey is an advanced authentication method that eliminates the need for passwords. It utilizes public-key cryptography to securely verify your identity across websites and apps. Unlike passwords, passkeys cannot be guessed, phished, or leaked in data breaches. They are unique, device-specific credentials that stay on your device and are never shared with servers.

To log in with a passkey, you simply authenticate with your device using biometrics like fingerprint or facial recognition. This cryptographically proves your identity without revealing any secrets. Passkeys are built on open standards like WebAuth and can work across platforms and browsers. Major tech companies like Apple, Google and Microsoft are adopting passkeys to provide a passwordless future that is more secure and convenient for users.

How do Passkeys Work?

Passkeys rely on a technological concept called public key cryptography. Here's a breakdown of the process:

  • Key Generation: When you create a passkey for a website or app, your device (phone or computer) generates a unique pair of cryptographic keys: a public key and a private key.
  • Public Key Sharing: The public key is stored on the website's server. It can be understood as a digital lock which cannot be used to unlock anything on its own.
  • Private Key Safekeeping: The private key, the crucial part, stays securely stored on your device and is never shared with the website. This key unlocks the access.
  • Authentication: When you try to log in, the website sends a challenge to your device. Your device uses the private key to create a digital signature on the challenge, proving you possess the key.
  • Verification: The website receives the signed challenge and uses the public key (stored on their server) to verify the signature. If it matches, access is granted and if not access is denied.

Passkeys eliminates the need for passwords and makes phishing attacks ineffective since no password transmission is done.

Passkey vs. Password

Passkeys and passwords are two different methods of authentication, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. Here's a comparison:


  • More secure: Passkeys use public-key cryptography to authenticate users, making them more resistant to phishing and password cracking attacks.
  • Easy to use: Passkeys eliminate the need for users to remember complex passwords or use password managers, and can be conveniently used on any device with a secure enclave or TPM.
  • Resilient to phishing: Passkeys are not vulnerable to phishing attacks that rely on stolen or guessed passwords.


  • Familiar: Passwords are a widely used and familiar authentication method.
  • Easy to change: Passwords can be easily changed if compromised, providing some level of protection against unauthorized access.
  • Vulnerable to attacks: Passwords are susceptible to phishing, brute-force, and dictionary attacks, and can be easily guessed or stolen.

Passkeys offer a more secure and convenient authentication method than passwords, but passwords still have their place in certain contexts. It's critical to use a combination of strong, unique passwords and passkeys whenever possible to ensure maximum security.

How are Passkeys Better than Passwords?

Passkeys offer several advantages over traditional passwords, making them a more secure and convenient option for authentication:

  1. Enhanced security: Passkeys use cryptography to create a secure connection between your device and the service you're accessing. They are resistant to phishing attacks and server breaches, as they don't rely on the storage of passwords on servers. Instead, passkeys use public-key cryptography, which ensures that only authorized devices can access your accounts.
  2. Convenience: Passkeys eliminate the need for users to remember multiple complex passwords. Instead, they rely on biometric authentication (such as fingerprint or facial recognition) or a PIN on your device. This simplifies the sign-in process and reduces the risk of password-related issues like forgotten or weak passwords.
  3. Speed: Passkeys are faster than traditional passwords, as they don't require users to enter long combinations of characters. Instead, they rely on device-based authentication, which is quicker and more easier.
  4. Device-based access: Passkeys authenticate your identity based on your possession of a trusted device, rather than relying solely on a password. This means that even if your password is compromised, an attacker would still need access to your device to gain unauthorized access to your accounts.
  5. Widespread adoption: Major tech companies like Apple, Google, and Microsoft are actively promoting and implementing passkeys across their platforms. This means that more and more services will soon support passkeys, making them a more widely accepted and accessible authentication method.

Passkeys provide a more secure, convenient, and faster alternative to traditional passwords. They use device-based authentication and cryptography to protect users from phishing attacks and server breaches, while also simplifying the sign-in process. As more companies adopt passkeys, they are likely to become the standard for authentication in the future.

Passkeys on Different Platforms

Passkeys are gaining momentum across various platforms, with major tech companies actively implementing and promoting their use. Here's an overview of how passkeys are being adopted on different platforms:

  1. Apple Passkeys
  2. Passkeys are natively supported in iOS 16, iPadOS 16, macOS Ventura, and iCloud Keychain.Users can create and manage passkeys through the Keychain app or the Settings app on Apple devices.Passkeys are integrated with Safari, allowing users to securely authenticate with passkeys when accessing supported websites.

    Popular MacOS Integrations

    • Creating a Google Calendar and macOS Calendar integration lets you see and manage all your events in both places, helping eliminate duplicate entries and keeping you on schedule across devices.
    • Creating a macOS Calendar with ChatGPT Integration allows you to generate event details, descriptions, or even meeting agendas based on your calendar entry title. This could save you time and provide a creative boost to your scheduling.
    • Create a Zoom and macOS Calendar integration allows you to schedule Zoom meetings directly from your calendar. This saves time by eliminating the need to switch between apps and manually enter meeting details. Plus, any changes made to the event in your calendar, like date or time, will automatically update in Zoom, keeping everyone informed.
    • Creating a macOS Calendar with Twilio integration could be useful for logging customer interactions, scheduling follow-up appointments after calls, or keeping track of important communication details.
  3. Google Passkeys
  4. Passkeys are supported in Android 13 and later versions.Users can create and manage passkeys through the Google Passwords app or the Settings app on Android devices. Passkeys are integrated with Chrome, allowing users to authenticate with passkeys when accessing supported websites. Google apps can be automated by creating a wide range of integrations with other apps, some of which are listed below:

    Popular Google Apps Integrations

    • Creating a Google Sheets integration with Salesforce bridges the gap between your data and spreadsheets. You can pull Salesforce data (like leads or sales figures) directly into your Sheets, allowing for real-time analysis, customizable reports, and easy data manipulation.
    • Integrating Notion with Google Calendar creates a central hub for your plans. This integration keeps you organized, lets you plan events with context, and ensures you never miss an important deadline or meeting.
    • Creating a Google Docs and Jira Integration streamlines collaboration between document creation and project management. You can link directly to Google Docs within Jira issues, allowing team members to access and edit live documents without switching between apps.
    • Creating a Gmail Integration with Salesforce enhances your sales communication and record keeping. This integration eliminates data entry, keeps your CRM system updated, and offers a complete communication history for every customer.
  5. Microsoft Passkeys
  6. Passkeys are supported in Windows 11 and later versions. Users can create and manage passkeys through the Microsoft Authenticator app or the Settings app on Windows devices. Passkeys are integrated with Microsoft Edge, allowing users to authenticate with passkeys when accessing supported websites.

  7. FIDO2
  8. Passkeys are based on the FIDO2 standard, which is supported by various browsers and platforms. Users can create and manage passkeys using FIDO2-compatible authenticator apps, such as YubiKey or Google Authenticator. Passkeys can be used to authenticate with supported websites and services that implement FIDO2.

  9. Web Authentication (WebAuthn)
  10. Passkeys are supported by the Web Authentication (WebAuthn) standard, which is implemented by modern browsers like Chrome, Firefox, and Safari. Users can create and manage passkeys through their browser's authentication settings or using FIDO2-compatible authenticator apps. Passkeys can be used to securely authenticate with supported websites and services that implement WebAuthn.

These platform-specific implementations of passkeys provide users with an easy and secure authentication experience across a wide range of devices and services. As more platforms adopt passkeys, users can benefit from enhanced security and convenience in their online interactions. To know more explore our guide on Bitwarden vs. LastPass: Which Password Manager Should You Choose?


Finally, it can be said that passkeys are the next stage of authentication, which is a more secure option than passwords and also much more convenient for users. The involvement of the most relevant technology platforms and standards will allow the passkeys to be the next most important factor in how we secure our online life. Using public-key cryptography and device-based authentication, passkeys work as a reliable way to fight phishing and brute-force attacks. They make the user experience simple by eliminating the use of complex passwords while offering trouble free interconnectivity between different devices and platforms. As passkeys take wider adoption, we are heading towards a future where secure and convenient authentication becomes the norm. This, in turn will improve the privacy and well-being of all digital citizens.

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