Why is FIDO So Important?

Fast Identity Online, FIDO, is the world’s leading authentication standard, enabling extremely clever authentication methods to replace the vulnerability of passwords.

mSIGNIA’s founders have a history with Liberty Alliance and Paypal, resulting in an appreciation of FIDO since its earliest days in 2013.  mSIGNIA was even briefly a FIDO member when working on mSIGNIA’s Digital Biometrics patent portfolio.

FIDO’s solution is simple genius, specifically

  • FIDO re-defined authentication as distinct local and remote authentication steps, creating industry standards for both an easy, privacy-compliant consumer authentication using biometrics and a safe authentication using asymmetric key cryptography
  • FIDO intelligently jettisoned the overhead of public key ‘infrastructure’ (the “I” in “PKI” which includes concepts like certificates, CAs, RAs, cert revocation, etc.) and concentrated on the value of asymmetric key cryptography

FIDO’s innovation has been widely recognized through broad, native adoption by global industry ‘infrastructure’ players such as device manufactures, OS owners, and browser providers.

FIDO has been fearless in standardizing the difficult capabilities which make global standards so valuable, for example

  • FIDO’s specification includes an attestation of the risk quality of a local authentication.  For example, how accurate is the biometric sensor and how safe is the storage of the crypto keys.  This provides an industry standard rating scale for the trustworthiness of a user authentication; such info can be passed to the reliant party (i.e., the authentication party) to assess risk
  • FIDO has always been a strong advocate for user privacy; working with international policy bodies to safeguard the privacy of citizens the world over

mSIGNIA is working with FIDO, EMVCo, and W3C to expand their standards efforts to embrace and include the Client API and Universal SDK (cAPI + uSDK) standards which continue to support and advance each standard’s adoption.

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