Passwords are perhaps the biggest security problems in computers. Short passwords are easily guessed by hackers. Long passwords are more secure but are difficult to remember. The longer and more complex the password, the more likely it is to be written down someplace by the user. Of course, writing a password on paper or in a computer file increases the odds that it will be found by a hacker. Therefore, long passwords probably are as insecure as the shorter ones.
Apple partially solved the problem by incorporating fingerprint readers on the latest iPhones and iPads. Still, that is not a total solution. Now Microsoft is adding support for the Fast Identity Online (Fido) standard to Windows 10 to enable password-free sign-on for a number of applications.
Fido is a non-profit organization created by an alliance of many companies, including Samsung, Visa, PayPal, RSA, MasterCard, Google, Lenovo, ARM, and Bank of America as well as Microsoft. The goal of the alliance is to change the nature of online authentication by:
- Developing technical specifications that define an open, scalable, interoperable set of mechanisms that reduce the reliance on passwords to authenticate users.
- Operating industry programs to help ensure successful worldwide adoption of the Specifications.
- Submitting mature technical Specification(s) to recognized standards development organization(s) for formal standardization.
You can read more at the Fido web site at http://fidoalliance.org and especially at http://fidoalliance.org/about. The Fido Alliance Specifications Overview may be found at https://fidoalliance.org/specifications.
Microsoft’s press release about the company joining the Fido Alliance may be found at http://goo.gl/sCpkuV.