FIDO Alliance Executive Director Brett McDowell took the stage with digital financial services expert David Birch on Money20/20’s opening day, and took the opportunity to make the case for the implementation of FIDO standards in financial services (and everywhere else).
Speaking to Birch as part of the “Identity Around the World: Global Case Studies in Digital ID” session, McDowell explained that the FIDO Alliance’s strong authentication standards have thus far spread on an “OEM by OEM” basis, with device makers opting to take the dive into FIDO authentication one by one, more or less, over time. But some high-profile supporters of the new FIDO2 standard have changed that, setting the stage for a wider proliferation of FIDO standards and of security key or biometrics-based web authentication in particular.
For one thing, McDowell pointed out, the latest version of Windows 10 supports the standard via its Windows Hello biometric authentication system. Another big backer is Google, whose just-released Chrome 70 browser brings support for biometric authentication to Android devices. These are extremely popular platforms from some of the biggest tech giants in the world, and Birch pointed out that open source development indicates that FIDO2 support is coming to Apple’s Safari browser as well.
In other words, McDowell suggested, FIDO and the big tech companies “have done the heavy lifting” to deliver the infrastructure for this kind of strong online authentication. Now, he said, it’s up to individual financial services providers and other companies to actually enable the support in their own web apps – something that can easily be done through FIDO’s API. And with more users than ever looking to do business online, and fraudsters following suit, these companies now have every reason to heed McDowell’s call.
October 22, 2018 – by Alex Perala