German Federal Office for Information Security joins FIDO Alliance

October 6, 2015 - 

The FIDO (Fast IDentity Online) Alliance announced that the German Federal Office for Information Security (BSI-Bundesamt für Sicherheit in der Informationstechnik) has joined the Alliance as a government members.

The move comes a few month after the FIDO Alliance introduced a new class of membership for government agencies in which they can actively participate in the development of FIDO standards.

As the German national cybersecurity authority, the BSI promotes IT security by providing services to IT manufacturers, as well as private and commercial users and IT providers.

The BSI is a member of the NFC Forum, whose work already includes the use of NFC-enabled FIDO authentication media in its use case documentation for public transport.

The German government is currently working on a proof-of-concept for the interoperability solutions that are being developed by the NFC Forum in Germany.

Through this project, public transport service providers will provide FIDO NFC media to securely sign-on to online accounts.

“Moving beyond passwords with FIDO authentication is excellent to secure networks and resources within the government enterprise,” said Bernd Kowalski, head of department for secure electronic IDs, certification, and standardization at BSI. “BSI has pursued a relationship with the FIDO Alliance and we are very pleased to be among the first government members to participate in the development of open FIDO standards and the future of authentication.”

Through FIDO’s government membership program, which includes both the U.S. and U.K., governments throughout the world interact directly with the Alliance to inform the development of FIDO standards and help accelerate its worldwide adoption.

Since government agencies have requirements for strong authentication to both secure their own applications, as well as to meet responsibilities in setting policy that improves cybersecurity overall, they are able to influence others in adopting FIDO authentication.

“As a recognized leader in cybersecurity policy, the BSI is well positioned to demonstrate the value of FIDO standards to their peer agencies in other European Union member states and establish FIDO as a recognized best practice for strong authentication by policy makers and regulators across the continent,” said Brett McDowell, executive director of the FIDO Alliance.

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About Justin Lee

Justin Lee has been a contributor with Biometric Update since 2014. Previously, he was a staff writer for web hosting magazine and website, theWHIR. For more than a decade, Justin has written for various publications on issues relating to technology, arts and culture, and entertainment. Follow him on Twitter @BiometricJustin.