Menu
Security group plans for a future without passwords

Security group plans for a future without passwords

The FIDO Alliance encourages stronger use of biometrics and hardware tokens instead of passwords to identify users

Having to remember multiple passwords may soon be a thing of the past.

Setting the stage for a password-free future, an industry consortium has issued a set of instructions that specify a number of alternate ways that computers and devices can confirm a user's identity. The FIDO (Fast IDentity Online) Alliance, which issued the specifications on Tuesday, is backed by a number of large companies in the IT and banking industries, including Microsoft, Google, PayPal, Bank of America, and MasterCard.

After two years of work, FIDO has issued the first fully completed drafts of two specifications - the Universal Authentication Framework (UAF) and Universal 2nd Factor (U2F). If widely deployed, these specifications could form the basis for securing online communications without using passwords, which are cumbersome and can pose security threats.

The two specifications describe procedures that systems can use to verify a person's identity. For instance, biometric sensors such as fingerprint readers could identify a user's identity. A portable hardware token, which can be carried about, could also be used to authenticate individuals.

Today, most users log on to secured online services using passwords, yet this approach remains problematic. More than 76 percent of online breaches exploit weak or stolen log-in credentials, according to a survey from Verizon. While other forms of authentication such as biometrics have long been available, there has been little industry consensus on how these security mechanisms should be implemented, leading to a fragmented and complex environment for online authentication management.

Members of the FIDO Alliance are now able to use these specifications to build security systems. Companies such as Google, PayPal, Samsung and Alibaba have already incorporated early drafts of the specifications into their products and services.

Now that it has finished the core specifications, the FIDO Alliance is working on a set of extensions that will incorporate additional forms of access security, such as establishing identities using Near Field Communications and Bluetooth wireless communications.

Joab Jackson covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Joab on Twitter at @Joab_Jackson. Joab's e-mail address is Joab_Jackson@idg.com


Follow Us

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags BlackberryGooglebiometricsIdentity fraud / theft

Events

Featured

Slideshows

Meet the Reseller News 30 Under 30 Tech Awards 2020 winners

Meet the Reseller News 30 Under 30 Tech Awards 2020 winners

This year’s Reseller News 30 Under 30 Tech Awards were held as an integral part of the first entirely virtual Emerging Leaders​ forum, an annual event dedicated to identifying, educating and showcasing the New Zealand technology market’s rising stars. The 30 Under 30 Tech Awards 2020 recognised the outstanding achievements and business excellence of 30 talented individuals​, across both young leaders and those just starting out. In this slideshow, Reseller News honours this year's winners and captures their thoughts about how their ideas of leadership have changed over time.​

Meet the Reseller News 30 Under 30 Tech Awards 2020 winners
Reseller News Exchange Auckland: Beyond the myths — how partners can master cloud security

Reseller News Exchange Auckland: Beyond the myths — how partners can master cloud security

This exclusive Reseller News Exchange event in Auckland explored the challenges facing the partner community on the cloud security frontier, as well as market trends, customer priorities and how the channel can capitalise on the opportunities available. In association with Arrow, Bitdefender, Exclusive Networks, Fortinet and Palo Alto Networks. Photos by Gino Demeer.

Reseller News Exchange Auckland: Beyond the myths — how partners can master cloud security
Reseller News welcomes industry figures at 2020 Hall of Fame lunch

Reseller News welcomes industry figures at 2020 Hall of Fame lunch

Reseller News welcomed 2019 inductees - Leanne Buer, Ross Jenkins and Terry Dunn - to the fourth running of the Reseller News Hall of Fame lunch, held at the French Cafe in Auckland. The inductees discussed the changing face of the IT channel ecosystem in New Zealand and what it means to be a Reseller News Hall of Fame inductee. Photos by Gino Demeer.

Reseller News welcomes industry figures at 2020 Hall of Fame lunch
Show Comments