The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is launching a new online course that will teach people how to integrate passwordless authentication technologies into their own applications. The three-week “Introduction to Web Authentication” course is being put together in collaboration with Yubico, and will officially kick off on November 30.
The Consortium’s broader goal is to encourage more organizations to improve their security practices, which will in turn reduce their reliance on passwords and minimize their exposure to phishing, credential theft, and other forms of fraud. In that regard, the Consortium noted that compromised credentials are one of the leading causes of data breaches, and that the average breach can cost a company as much as $4.37 million.
The new Massive Open Online Course will put forth W3C’s Web Authentication (WebAuthn) standard as a potential solution to the problem. WebAuthn became a Level 1 web specification in 2019, and a second version was released earlier in 2021. The standard was developed by the FIDO Alliance (of which Yubico is a member), and leverages public key credentials to enable secure passwordless logins for people logging into digital accounts.
The introductory course will have both practical and abstract components. In addition to learning how to use an API and build their own WebAuthn server, participants will learn about authentication terminology and best practices, and study the logic that informs the development of a modern cybersecurity system.
“WebAuthn will change the way people access resources on the web,” said W3C CEO Jeff Jaffe. “Multi-factor solutions move beyond vulnerable passwords and improve the security of online experiences. I am looking forward to more web developers becoming experts thanks to this course and implementing the web-wide interoperability guidance of the standard.”
Those interested in the course can now register for free, though those that opt into the paid version of the course will receive a certificate upon completion. The course is being offered through the W3Cx online learning platform on edX, and is the seventh such course that the Consortium has put together.