cyber threat


People don’t put enough thought into passwords because it’s a pain, but that creates security problems for the whole internet. Google, Microsoft and others in the FIDO Alliance want to replace passwords with fingerprint scanning and other techniques, and just unveiled 31 products from 16 companies that conform to the new standard. The most recognizable of those is Google’s login service, which implemented USB key locks that eliminate mobile phones in 2-step identification late last year. Others on the list include Samsung’s PayPal authorizing fingerprint system, and Nok Nok, which allows Apple’s Touch ID fingerprint scanner to work with third-party apps.

FIDO also announced a certification program for its version 1.0 specification. Conforming apps will authenticate using biometric data like voice prints and fingerprints, while never storing them to ensure privacy. In addition, certified apps will theoretically work with any biometric system, depending on what a vendor wants to implement. The standard makes it easier for companies to incorporate FIDO into apps, while the official logo assures consumers that a product is conforming. Despite that, lots of companies still haven’t boarded the alliance, and some are still waiting — like Microsoft, which won’t certify Windows 10 for FIDO until the next spec is released.