FIDO is the Fast IDentity Online Alliance which is a 501 non-profit organization which was formed in July 2012. The alliance was formed to address certain issues and to find ways to authenticate easier than the current methods without losing security. The FIDO Alliance website has the following explanation: “to address the lack of interoperability among strong authentication devices as well as the problems users face with creating and remembering multiple usernames and passwords. The FIDO Alliance plans to change the nature of authentication by developing specifications that define an open, scalable, interoperable set of mechanisms that supplant reliance on passwords to securely authenticate users of online services. This new standard for security devices and browser plugins will allow any website or cloud application to interface with a broad variety of existing and future FIDO-enabled devices that the user has for online security.”
FIDO and BlackBerry are very proud to announce that BlackBerry has become the 40th member of the Alliance and has been appointed to the Board of Directors. This makes BlackBerry one of the first mobile platform and mobile device suppliers to join the FIDO Alliance.
BlackBerry Joins FIDO Alliance and Board; Seeks Secure, Universal Authentication for Mobile Platform and Device Users
WATERLOO, ON and PALO ALTO, CA – The FIDO (Fast IDentity Online) Alliance, an industry consortium revolutionizing online authentication with the first standards-based specifications, today announced that BlackBerry® (NASDAQ: BBRY; TSX: BB) has joined the Alliance and been appointed to the Board of Directors.
FIDO members commit to share technology and collaborate to deliver open specifications for universal strong authentication that enables FIDO-compliant authentication methods to be interoperable, more secure and private, and easier to use. BlackBerry is among the first mobile platform and mobile device suppliers to engage with the FIDO Alliance to equip customers with easy-to-use strong authentication, allowing them to easily move from site to site securely without having to enter identifying information multiple times. As a FIDO Alliance Relying Partner (RP), BlackBerry will be able to better serve its millions of customers on BlackBerry.com, and people who use BBM™, BlackBerry® Protect and other BlackBerry services around the world, as well as developers submitting apps on the BlackBerry® World™ storefront.
“We welcome BlackBerry to the FIDO Alliance board as one of the world’s leading mobile platforms and mobile device providers. BlackBerry’s addition to the FIDO Alliance moves the mobile industry closer to universal strong authentication using the open FIDO specifications that embrace all use cases,” said Michael Barrett, FIDO Alliance president. “We also prize BlackBerry among the Internet’s leading relying parties, with the potential to allow millions of users to utilize open strong authentication.”
From initial design and manufacturing to developing tamper resistant hardware and software for securing data at rest or in transit, security has been the central element of the BlackBerry value proposition since its inception. BlackBerry provides all the components to offer secure Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) for BlackBerry, iOS® and Android™ devices. BlackBerry also demonstrates the same dedication to perfecting and standardizing security protocols.
“BlackBerry is deeply committed to remaining the Gold Standard in mobile security while providing a model for others to adopt and follow,” said Brian McBride, Technical Director for Identity at BlackBerry. “Offering safe, reliable access for our customers across the globe is inherent to everything BlackBerry does as an organization. We are both excited and proud to join the FIDO Alliance to help extend mobile security best practices and standards to the global community as the alliance strives to achieve universal secure authentication.”
The FIDO protocol will support a full range of authentication technologies, including biometrics such as fingerprint scanners, voice and facial recognition, as well as existing solutions and communications standards, such as Trusted Platform Modules (TPM), USB Security Tokens, Near Field Communication (NFC), One Time Passwords (OTP), embedded Secure Elements (eSE), and many other existing and future technology options. The open protocol is designed to be extensible and to accommodate future innovation, as well as protect existing investments. The FIDO protocol allows the interaction of technologies within a single infrastructure, enabling security options to be tailored to the distinct needs of each user and organization.
Organizations that want to influence the development of the FIDO specifications and ensure that the open standards address their use cases and requirements should join the FIDO Alliance now. FIDO Alliance members will define the market requirements, contribute to the FIDO specifications and be part of the ecosystem that will address the broad range of use cases and technologies. The FIDO Alliance invites all companies and organizations to join the Alliance and become active members.
This is a great move on the part of BlackBerry, further strengthening their view and name in mobile security.