Governments are now recognizing the importance of strong, secure authentication in the digital world, writes FIDO Alliance Vice President Ramesh Kesanupalli in a post on the FIDO Alliance website. Kesanupalli praises the Obama administration for organizing the recent Cybersecurity and Consumer Protection Summit, and for coming out strongly in favor of stronger authentication.
An afternoon panel at the summit saw unanimous agreement “that there is no need to hesitate any longer because real-world deployments for open, secure, easy-to-use, affordable, and high-privacy online identity protection already exist.” And indeed, the US federal government is beginning to really embrace this kind of security, having recently announced that it would support Apple Pay – a mobile payment service secured by Apple’s TouchID fingerprint scanning system – in its transactions with citizens.
Other levels of government are coming around, too. Kesanupalli notes that New York’s superintendent of the Department of Financial Services recently said in an interview, “We really need everyone to go to a system of multi-factor verification,” adding, “It is just too easy, whether through basic hacking or through phishing or stealing basic information, for hackers to get a password and a user name and then to get into a system.” Meanwhile, Washington State has begun an initiative to issue biometric driver’s licences, which, while not a replacement of a password system, is a strong embrace of next-generation authentication security.
Government is often slow to embrace the newest technologies, but the urgency of the need for secure authentication could spur the American government and others around the world forward. And indeed, in some cases, such as India, it is national governments themselves that are leading the charge.