The Fast IDentity Online (FIDO) Alliance announced today that since its founding in February 2013, is has more than octupled in size. Starting as an organization comprised of six members dedicated to replacing passwords with universal strong authentication driven by standards based open specifications, FIDO now has a membership of over 50 from around the globe.
Since February the FIDO Alliance has grown to encapsulate representatives from every continent who support the post-password paradigm in all of its forms: biometrics, smart cards USB tokens, NFC, Trusted Platform Modules (TPM) and embedded Secure Elements (eSE). Many of these supported methods can be combined to great effect, offering advanced multifactor protection to applications in mCommerce, physical access control and just about any area of life that once required passwords for security.
The basis of FIDO’s approach is to offer a wide variety of device-oriented security options that can help users of all walks of life overcome the dependency they have on passwords. Focussed on privacy, FIDO protocols keep all authentication information on a user’s device and not in the cloud, prompting a user to complete a gesture based challenge to complete authentication.
Michael Barrett, President of the FIDO Alliance and former PayPal CITO commented on the speedy growth of the consortium saying, “The rapid growth of the FIDO Alliance and the quality of our membership reflect a thriving awareness of the demands for better authentication.”
The quality cited by Barrett is self evident when the influence of even just FIDO’s newest board members is taken into account. MasterCard and Oberthur Technologies both joined the Alliance in the past month, bringing the board to a healthy size of 11 members. MasterCard specifically marked a milestone for the organization, the credit card provider claiming the title as the first major global payment network to push for the kind of authentication standards FIDO stands for.
Barrett continued: “We welcome our new members, and we continue to invite all who recognize the value of enabling the broad range of strong authentication methods and devices to join the Alliance and explore this emerging technology. Both Relying Parties and users need FIDO authentication to realize the full potential of the Internet.”
Other members that have joined in this period of expansion include findBIOMETRICS, Google, Blackberry, LG Electronics, Natural Security, Bio-Key, SecureKey, ValidSoft and many, many more.
Along with the announcement of its rapid growth, FIDO also made it known that it has begun testing Universal Authentication Framework and Universal Second Factor products for conformance and interoperability. Ramesh Kesanupalli, founder of Nok Nok Labs speaks to this, saying, “This first phase of member interoperability testing is an important milestone for the FIDO Alliance. The work completed now will deliver a solid platform for our continued growth.”
FIDO has also extended an invitation to all companies and organizations to join the Alliance and push for a strong post-password future as active members.