Fast IDentity Online Alliance Nearing Completion of 1.0 Authentication System

The Fast IDentity Online Alliance plans to eliminate the use of passwords and heighten online security with new authentication systems.

There are many jobs available for people seeking careers in information technology that involve securing data and personal information. Keeping people safe in the digital age is an integral part of the IT world at this time.

With all of the security breaches lately, from Target to Sony and smaller companies, it's no wonder people are wary of technology. So many of the websites we use on a regular basis require passwords, from social media accounts to online shopping - even paying bills online requires a password. It's difficult to remember all those tricky partially capitalized, one-numbered passcodes. If the Fast IDentity Online Alliance has anything to do with it, you won't have to.

The FIDO Alliance uses one and two-factor identification, instead of passwords, to allow easier access to password-protected accounts, regardless of the device being used. According to a Dec. 9 2014 press release, FIDO has two specifications, Universal Authentication Framework and Universal 2nd Factor. These specifications do not require passwords or pins. Instead, they use hardware tokens, biometrics and more to authenticate a person's identity. These frameworks can be used by individuals, businesses, governments, organizations and service providers. 

According to a press release from April 2014, Nok Nok Labs, a founding member of the FIDO Alliance, was chosen to use their NNL  S3 Authentication Suite systems in their first FIDO deployment in the Samsung Galaxy S5 smartphone and PayPal's newest payment system. The systems were created to allow easier and more secure mobile shopping experiences. 

The S3 Suite uses a devices fingerprint sensor, camera and Trusted Platform Module to authenticate a person's identity, allowing them sign on to apps, servers and more without a password. Because the Suite uses a device's existing security capabilities, the cost and complexity of authentication infrastructure is lessened, making the security of a device easier and less costly to establish. 

According to a December 2014 press release, FIDO 1.0 is undergoing the final preparations for the authentication systems that will be available commercially in 2015. These systems will can be used for devices, browsers and browser plugins, native app subsystems, servers and client software. The main specifications of the 1.0 system are finalized but the Alliance is working to include Near Field Communications and Bluetooth before the system is officially released.

This article is sponsored by Western Governors University, a nonprofit, accredited, online university.
WGU offers bachelor's and master's online degree programs in IT. To find out more, please visit www.wgu.edu/wisecareers_IT

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