Apple is experimenting with web authentication in Safari’s latest preview. The experimental feature in question supports the use of USB-based Ctap2 key, eliminating the need to enter and store passwords in the web browser.
The release notes for Safari Technology Preview 71 state that Web Authentication has been added as an experimental feature for the time being. It is not yet known how long the feature needs to be tested before it is considered successful. It is also not yet clear whether keys based on bluetooth or nfc will be supported in the near future.
In April 2018, Apple, along with Google and Mozilla, announced it was going to implement the WebAuthn standard in its browser. Google tested fingerprint login in Chrome in September, and Mozilla brought WebAuthn to Firefox 60 in May.
By using hardware keys, such as the YubiKey, the security of account data is better ensured and users’ systems are less susceptible to phishing and hacks. According to Krebs on Security, Google employees have not suffered from phishing since the introduction of mandatory hardware key use in 2017.