Mi­crosoft to in­tro­duce bio­met­ric au­then­ti­ca­tion

Tech Advisor - - NEWS -

Win­dows 10 to sup­port pass­word-killing Fast Iden­tity On­line 2.0 spec­i­fi­ca­tion

Mi­crosoft is about to of­fi­cially join the fight for au­then­ti­ca­tion with­out pesky pass­words. It re­cently an­nounced that Win­dows 10 will sup­port the Fast Iden­tity On­line (FIDO) 2.0 spec­i­fi­ca­tion. The end re­sult is that in­stead of us­ing pass­words to log in to PCs, Mi­crosoft ser­vices, and other third-party ac­counts, you’ll also be able to use a finger­print or eye scan – pos­si­bly in­te­grated with a key fob for two-fac­tor au­then­ti­ca­tion.

In its blog post an­nounc­ing FIDO in Win­dows 10, Mi­crosoft fo­cused largely on fea­tures that would in­ter­est IT types, such as FIDO sup­port for ma­jor en­ter­prise-fo­cused cloud ser­vices in­clud­ing Of­fice 365 Ex­change On­line, Sales­force, Citrix and Box. But FIDO in Win­dows 10 will also work with con­sumer ser­vices such as Win­dows 10 sign-ins, Out­look.com, and OneDrive.

The call to kill pass­words with a bet­ter au­then­ti­ca­tion so­lu­tion has been go­ing on for some time. FIDO ap­pears to be the best chance for a one-size fits all so­lu­tion to pass­word-less au­then­ti­ca­tion. The FIDO Al­liance in­cludes many ma­jor tech com­pa­nies and other busi­nesses with a big in­ter­est in se­cu­rity, in­clud­ing Google, MasterCard, PayPal, and Visa. Mi­crosoft joined the FIDO Al­liance in late 2013. When heavy hit­ters work to­gether on prob­lems like this the end re­sult tends to be a near-uni­ver­sal so­lu­tion.

The idea be­hind FIDO isn’t new. In­stead of us­ing pass­words – that can be forgotten, lost, stolen or even guessed – a FIDOe­quipped de­vice would use bio­met­rics such as finger­print and eye scans that are much harder to ac­quire. This ini­tial lo­gin method could also be paired with a key fob for twofac­tor au­then­ti­ca­tion for added se­cu­rity.

Bio­met­ric scan­ners have al­ready been in­te­grated into smartphone­s, lap­tops, and other de­vices for years. The dif­fer­ence with

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