Infotech Lead America: The FIDO (Fast IDentity Online) Alliance was formed by leading internet companies, system integrators and security providers to address the lack of interoperability among strong authentication technologies and remedy the problems users face with creating and remembering multiple usernames and passwords.
Founding member organizations Agnitio, Infineon Technologies, Lenovo, Nok Nok Labs, PayPal, and Validity are developing the specification and FIDO-compliant products. The FIDO Alliance is open to participation from all companies and organizations that want simpler, stronger authentication. Members will define the market requirements and contribute to the FIDO specification.
Today, most users have a handful of slightly varied passwords they use to access multiple sites and accounts. This cross-use of passwords poses serious risks if one account is compromised and user credentials are exposed to potential fraud across the range of a user’s accounts. FIDO’s standards-based approach automatically detects when a FIDO-enabled device is present, and offers users the option to replace passwords with authentication methods that are more secure and easier to use.
The FIDO Alliance aims to be all-inclusive, embracing both existing and new authentication methods and hardware with the FIDO open protocol. FIDO-compliant smartphones, tablets, PCs and laptops can replace password dependency and eliminate exposure of sensitive user information by automatically and transparently providing user credentials when they’re required.
The FIDO standard will support a full range of technologies, including biometrics such as fingerprint scanners, voice and facial recognition, as well as existing authentication solutions and communications standards, such as Trusted Platform Modules (TPM), USB Security Tokens, Near Field Communication (NFC), One Time Passwords (OTP) and many other existing and future technology options. The FIDO protocol allows the interaction of technologies within a single infrastructure, enabling security options to be tailored to the distinct needs of each user and organization.
The FIDO protocol approach supports consumerization trends by allowing end users any choice of authentication method. FIDO shifts control to providers, who can make authentication user-transparent and limit the risk of fraud. The FIDO Alliance framework lowers costs to deploy and improve returns on investment by using devices and systems already in the marketplace to authenticate users.