In early April, the Fast Identity Online (FIDO) Alliance announced that they have now certified over 150 two-factor authentication and biometric products for replacing static passwords, an increase of 50 percent just in the last quarter. These products meet the group’s specifications under their published Universal Authentication Framework, with several major mobile handset manufacturers and service providers offering FIDO Certified authentication. This does not include Apple and their TouchID fingerprint scanning technology, however.
The FIDO Alliance formed in 2012 and released their standards for stronger authentication at the end of 2014 with version 1.0 of their Universal Authentication Framework (UAF) and Universal 2nd Factor (U2F) specifications. For more information about the organization and their authentication standards for biometrics and other alternatives to static passwords, see the FraudBlog article published soon after these specifications were released: Are the FIDO Alliance Authentication Specifications the Beginning of the End for Passwords?
The FIDO Alliance consists of more than 150 member organizations, including board level members from Visa, MasterCard, Bank of America, Google and more. Focused on proliferating the use of stronger authentication that meets the Alliance’s standard for security and inter-operability, members are working on making FIDO Certified forms of authentication available to hundreds of millions of end users, whether coming through traditional eCommerce or mCommerce channels.
FIDO held a recent round of certification testing in Korea, which focused extensively on interoperability. This led to several more authentication biometric authentication and 2FA products earning the certification and now about half of the companies with FIDO Certified products or supporting services are based in Asia. During the first quarter of 2016 the total number of FIDO Certified products increased by about 50 percent to more than 150.
Five of the largest mobile phone manufactures have FIDO Certified biometric products to include Samsung, LG, Sony and others. Apple and their TouchID fingerprint scanning hardware that is used with Apple Pay, however, are not certified. Google, DropBox and others are supporting the two factor protocol rather than biometrics.
The FIDO Alliance will hold their next round of interoperability testing May 24 through 26, 2016 in Silicon Valley, California.
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