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FIDO passkey adoption surging in APAC with 2 big announcements

Yahoo! JAPAN and Korean mobile provider SK Telecom cut password use
FIDO passkey adoption surging in APAC with 2 big announcements

Yahoo! JAPAN has announced that it will be one of the first companies to support passkeys from Apple and Google platforms to improve the security and usability of its consumer services. Japan is home to 119 million internet users and Yahoo! JAPAN is the second most popular search engine in the country.

According to Yahoo! JAPAN, more than 70 percent of its active users, which is estimated to be more than 50 million people, use either a weaker SMS two-factor authentication or FIDO-based biometric passwordless authentication. A case study by Web.dev reports that since FIDO is so easy for user to set up it had a particularly high conversion rate with biometric passwordless authentication. In fact, Yahoo! JAPAN has achieved a 25 percent decrease in requests for forgotten credentials and 74 percent of users succeeded with FIDO authentication compared to 65 percent using SMS verification.

As the new FIDO 2.0 passkeys roll out, a major security benefit is that they are phishing-resistant, which will greatly reduce the risk of credential theft from social engineering for millions of users.  And Yahoo! JAPAN’s customers can access their FIDO sign-in credentials on many of their devices, even new ones, without having to re-enroll every device across Apple’s mobile iOS, iPad OS, MacOS, and Google’s Android operating systems.

Yahoo! Japan continues to serve as a leading innovator in the FIDO Alliance, where it has played a vital role on the Alliance’s Board of Directors, the FIDO Japan Working Group and other FIDO Alliance bodies.

Meanwhile, SK Telecom made a similar announcement this week for its 18 million users in Korea by introducing passkeys to PASS, their identity verification services app. SK Telecom customers using iOS16 or higher devices can use the passkeys for PASS login, identity verification through PASS, and electronic signature. Depending on the device, user authentication is performed using Face ID and Touch ID. In the future, SK Telecom plans to make sign-in with passkeys available to Android users as well.

This announcement comes after a FIDO Alliance Public Seminar in Korea in 2019 where SK Telecom reported zero credential stuffing once the company adopted FIDO authentication for internal employee use. The organization claimed that FIDO-based biometric authentication reduced the average authentication time to less than 5 seconds, which previously took more than 30 seconds on average when with user ID and passwords.

Originally launched in July 2018, SK Telecom’s PASS app has been adding new capabilities including digital national resident IDs and digital driver’s license service. And now with FIDO2-based passkeys millions of people in Korea will be better protected from threats stemming from passwords, and SK Telecom’s sponsorship level role within the FIDO Alliance is spreading the benefits of password-less authentication globally.

Passkeys are seen by many industry stakeholders as a potential tipping point in the reliance on passwords for access to online resources.

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