MWC 2014: BIO-key and InterDigital to Demonstrate Multifactor Android Authentication

Bio-key LogoThis year’s Mobile World Congress (MWC 2014) begins in just less than one week, February 24 in Barcelona, Spain. Mobile identification technologies are sure to be making a big impact this year at the international event, and expectedly so: the post-password ideal is finally ready for consumers, who are now demanding relief from current authentication demands. To this effect, BIO-key International and InterDigital announced today that during MWC 2014 they will introduce and demonstrate a new Android product combining the former’s fingerprint authentication and the later’s multifactor authentication solution.

The demonstrations will be taking place in Hall 7, Stand 7A71 – InterDigital’s pavilion.

The product is fully compliant with OpenID and can leverage Trustonic’s Trusted Execution Environment and API. The MFA architecture from InterDigital leverages device-based authentication in order to prevent cloning or spoofing, and because the product is backwards compatible with password authentication systems, there is no need to wait for consumer services to catch up with the tech.

Taking full advantage of BIO-key’s interoperable fingerprint matching capabilities, once the device is authenticated, an end user swipes on any integrated fingerprint scanner. This in turn authenticates the user, with matching occurring on device or in the cloud depending on her preference. The joint effort is specifically targeted to address the needs of consumers who are, quite frankly, overloaded with password practices, as well as the demands of Mobile Network Operators.

Jim Nolan, InterDigital’s  executive vice president of research and development, expands on these needs saying, “Consumers are frequently being asked to authenticate to the services they access on their mobile devices, and the need to remember multiple passwords, usernames and other credentials is becoming a serious obstacle to rolling out new, easier-to-use services. Stronger, more secure authentication that is also convenient is needed by both consumers and service providers in order to realize the full potential of what mobile computing brings to consumers.”

It is a need that is becoming more and more pervasive as the kinds of services that Nolan is referring to (mCommerce, subscription cloud services, etc.) suffer from unnecessary adoption barriers born of old-timey authentication friction. The clunky and taxing password structure has remained in place for a reason, and that is the fact that third party service providers are simply too averse to risk when it comes to an authentication paradigm shift.

As BIO-key CEO and newly elected chairman, Mike DePasquale explains: “Apple created positive momentum for biometric technology with the iPhone 5S and brought this technology into the mainstream. Our flexible MFA architecture embraces both device and network-based authentication capabilities thus meeting the needs of risk- averse third-party service providers who want more than closed, device-only authentication approaches. We see the importance of a hybrid approach to achieve persistent identity proofing – a long lasting physical to digital identity mapping that spans devices. This new platform reduces risk to both service providers and consumers, by enabling secure enrollment, duplicate enrollment prevention and other fraud prevention that on-device designs cannot address alone. The system creates flexibility to authenticate on-device or in the Cloud, while allowing users the right to maintain privacy and control their own information.”