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Getting Past the Password

- PDT
Main Stage
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Julianna Lamb
Stytch, Co-founder and CTO

Julianna Lamb is the co-founder and CTO of Stytch. Stytch builds user infrastructure and passwordless login to make it easy for developers to engage and authenticate their users.

Julianna and her co-founder Reed McGinley-Stempel both worked on fraud and authentication at Plaid and at Very Good Security. They were frustrated with the tools out there for developers. They built Stytch, the first company that has built a platform for passwordless authentication, so that any application or website can embed passwordless sign-up and login flows. The company has had thousands of companies choose Stytch's software to eliminate the security and user experience shortcomings of password-based authentication.

Julianna holds a degree in computer science from Stanford. She has been a software engineer at Strava and Plaid and a product manager at Very Good Security. 


Any company doing business on the internet needs to authenticate their users. As the number of online accounts that each user needs to access has increased, the pains of password based authentication have reached a tipping point.

Passwords create problems both from a user experience perspective and a security perspective. From a user experience perspective, it is cumbersome to manage dozens if not hundreds of passwords for various accounts. From a security perspective, users end up cutting corners and reusing the same passwords across many of their online accounts. When one of those passwords is breached, then every other account using that same password is susceptible to an account takeover attack.

Passwordless authentication enables frictionless user experiences and an increased security posture, but navigating which of the myriad different authentication options to go with can be incredibly confusing. Passwordless can mean so many different things, such as email based verification like a magic link, SMS one time passcodes, biometrics, hardware keys, and SSO.

This session would discuss how to navigate the transition to a passwordless future. The session would discuss:
-Why passwords have to go.
-How to simultaneously increase conversion and decrease security risks.
-How to match your business needs to passwordless authentication options.
-When to choose email magic links, SMS one-time passcodes, WebAuthn (TouchID/FaceID and YubiKey support), OAuth, and multifactor flows, or use a combination of these methods.
-The present (and future) of biometric authentication.