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FIDO standards from biometrics to government adoption in the spotlight at Authenticate 2020

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FIDO standards from biometrics to government adoption in the spotlight at Authenticate 2020

FIDO standards have reached the point where governments are including them in their digital ID policies, according to a speaker at FIDO Alliance’s Authenticate 2020 conference. The six-day event featured presentations from an array of experts in authentication, biometrics, cybersecurity and digital identity standards.

The first day of the event featured experts including Dr. Whitfield Diffie, Joy Chik of Mastercard and Mark Risher of Google, with each discussing aspects of the role of authentication in a safe internet.

“The FIDO Alliance has always had a truly audacious mission: to change the nature of authentication, to move the entire world away from usernames and passwords and traditional multi-factor authentication to a much simpler and stronger way to log in with FIDO,” Shikiar said, as recorded in one of a series of blog posts recapping the event. “Audacious, yes, but given the progress we’ve made in 7-8 years..  suddenly, this thing seems doable.”

Yubico CEO and Founder Stina Ehrensvärd noted the need for a digital identity equivalent to the seat belt, which made cars much safer after a series of technological advances made them more dangerous.

On Day 2, the sessions turned to using FIDO standards to improve authentication, with presentations from companies working with them. The third day focussed largely on improving user experiences with FIDO.

Biometrics were one of the primary focusses of Authenticate 2020 Day 4, with a “Lunch and Learn” deep-dive into the technology and the FIDO Alliance’s Biometric Component Certification with Dr. Stephanie Schuckers and Dr Rae Rivera. The regulatory environment and WebAuthn were also explored during the day’s sessions.

Venable LLP Managing Director of Technology Business Strategy noted that FIDO standards have increasingly begun appearing in government standards and guidance as the importance of the authentication layer for cybersecurity gains attention.

“What we’re seeing now in 2020 is FIDO is increasingly emerging as the preferred choice of governments around the world,” Grant said.

Day five of Authenticate 2020 included discussion of account recovery challenges, the impact of FIDO on the smart card market, and the intersection of FIDO with other standards. The event’s final day covered the future of PKI and decentralized identity (DID).

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