Beyond Passwords: Microsoft Joins Fido Alliance Board

Microsoft is looking to Fido to help move beyond passwords. ThatEUs the Fido Alliance, an industry organization that is attempting to standardize authentication protocols and make passwords less necessary. This week, the technology giant lent its weight to the effort by taking a seat on the organizationEUs board of directors.

An acronym of Fast Identity Online, the organization started in July of last year. Microsoft joins other major technology firms in the effort, including Google, PayPal, MasterCard, BlackBerry, LG and Lenovo.

The Fido Alliance says on its Web site that its key goals are to increase ease of use, privacy and security, and standardization. The organization is also attempting to foster innovation in creating authentication that goes beyond passwords, an innovation that it believes has been stymied because of the many proprietary clients and protocols currently required.

EUThriving EcosystemEU

The organization said that by standardizing client and protocol layers, a EUthriving ecosystemEU could be created that utilizes biometrics, PINs and second-factors usable across devices and platforms.

The standardization Fido is interested in advancing utilizes standard public key cryptography, involving a public key that is registered with an online service at the initial setup. This is followed by a local authentication method, such as a secure PIN, biometric ID from face, voice or fingerprint, or a second-factor keychain device.

Under the Fido approach, any biometric or personally identifiable information stays on the local device and is not shared over a network. The alliance notes that such a standardized system could reduce the reliance on passwords, would be easier to use, and could increase security.

Laura DiDio, an analyst with industry research firm Information Technology Intelligence Corp., pointed out that two industry heavyweights have not joined the organization -- Apple and Samsung.

Beyond Passwords

She said that, EUif you go back 15 years, Microsoft got beaten up...

Comments are closed.