World Economic Forum Promotes Use of Password-Free FIDO Technology

World Economic Forum Promotes Use of Password-Free FIDO Technology

The World Economic Forum (WEF) is encouraging organizations to adopt the FIDO Alliance’s passwordless authentication standards with a new paper that was published during this week’s annual meeting in Davos. The paper was put together with input from the FIDO Alliance and a number of member organizations, and specifically highlighted the fact that password-free authentication technology is ready to be implemented on a massive scale. 

To that end, the report notes that passwords and other forms of knowledge-based authentication are at once highly vulnerable and difficult to maintain. That makes them far less effective as a primary security option. According to the paper, approximately 80 percent of cyberattacks are related to passwords in some way, and password resets account for around 50 percent of IT help desk costs.

Thankfully, alternatives like security keys and biometrics are now readily available, and have been shown to reduce the financial losses and the amount of time needed for the authentication process. The paper cited several case studies to that effect, including a Nok Nok study that found that a mid-size U.S. bank saved $2.9 million every year and lowered payment times by nearly a third after adopting passwordless authentication.

Project leader Adrien Ogee argues that such technology is increasingly becoming a necessity for any organization that is hoping to mitigate cybercrime, which carries a $2.9 million price tag per minute at the global level. The FIDO Alliance credited the WEF for raising awareness about the latest practices in the field of identity verification. 

Google, HYPR, Microsoft, Yubico, and Onfido were some of the other contributors to the report in addition to Nok Nok Labs.  

The FIDO Alliance emphasized the expansion of the FIDO2 program in its year-end report for 2019. The organization also closed the year with another round of certifications that brought the total number of FIDO-certified products to 688.