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Friday, October 22, 2021

FIDO conference drives secure authentication

FIDO Alliance hosted Authentication 2021, a conference focused on modern user authentication methods. Held in Seattle from Oct. 18 to 20, the three-day event offered a insights on strong security and better interactions to on-site and remote attendees, according to Andrew Shikiar, executive director and chief marketing officer at the FIDO Alliance.

"Relying on passwords is passé," Shikiar said in a statement. "Modern authentication systems and standards have emerged to provide more efficient ways for organizations to provide strong security and better interactions with their brands."

Shikiar further noted that the FIDO Alliance provides tools and resources designed to help organizations prioritize stronger security. These themes would be explored in more detail in conference panel and keynote presentations, he stated.

Authenticate keynote speakers included Bob Lord, former chief security officer of the Democratic National Committee; Joy Chik, corporate vice president of identity at Microsoft; Stina Ehrensvard, CEO and founder of Yubico; David Henstock, head of identity and authentication products for Visa; and Dave Kleidermacher, vice president of engineering, Android security and privacy at Google. A full list of speakers is available at authenticatecon.com/event/authenticate-2021-conference/.


During the conference, FIDO disclosed a new certification program for accomplished professionals with advanced technical knowledge who can help businesses tailor a robust FIDO architecture according to their individual requirements. This program, which complements other FIDO certifications, validates individual skills and expertise, stated Dr. Rae Rivera, certification director at the FIDO Alliance.

"There is a large global appetite for authentication solutions beyond outdated and insecure passwords," Rivera said. "But with passwords so embedded in the digital security world, many organizations struggle to know where to start. Growing the global pool of authentication experts with this certified program is key to guiding more companies quickly and confidently in the right direction, while ensuring talented professionals have a means to demonstrate their market expertise."

Shikiar concurred with Rivera, stating the program can enhance a variety of job functions, including technology architects; systems and operations engineers; security professionals; and identity and access management professionals. "The FIDO Certified Professional Program builds upon our deep expertise in running industry-driven certification efforts and stands to raise the bar and authentication implementation capabilities of developers, architects and other professionals around the world," he said.

FIDO in every device

In an interview with The Green Sheet, Shikiar reflected on recent developments in secure authentication, stating he is impressed with the level of innovation in the hardware space.

"There are numerous security key vendors and form factors that are doing quite well in the market," he said. "For example, there are hardware security keys and biometrics built into NFC devices. Google did a case study in 2017 with security keys and found that Help Desk costs went down and not a single Google employee was successfully phished, which provided really good data points with these initial implementations."

Shikiar also noted that FIDO technical working groups include stakeholders from Microsoft, Google and PayPal who are collaborating on standardized approaches to web authentication technology. These efforts, coupled with the FIDO 2 protocol, will advance secure authentication at scale with advanced FIDO authentication technology in every consumer device, he stated. end of article

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