Bipartisan U.S. Commission on Enhancing Cybersecurity & FIDO for Strong Authentication

Recently the U.S. Commission on Enhancing National Cybersecurity released its report detailing some 50 separate recommendations on how the next administration can strengthen cybersecurity across the United States.

At the core of these recommendations were two key items that have been at the heart of what Nok Nok Labs has been doing since its inception. First, the Commission calls on the new Administration to “launch a national public and private initiative to achieve major security and privacy improvements by increasing the use of strong authentication to improve identity management”(See Recommendation 1.3). In an interview with Charlie Rose after this report was released, the Vice-Chair of the Commission, Samuel Palmisano, ex-CEO of IBM, identifies the fact that the Federal Government can play a massive role in changing how people view their method of authentication. By implementing strong authentication principles across the various government services, within various government agencies, the massive Federal Government has an opportunity to be an engine that will drive change in consumers expectations and behavior.

Additionally, the FIDO Alliance and the FIDO protocol were called out by name as an example of how to overcome identity authentication challenges. FIDO can be used on over a billion devices that are in the hands of users today, right now. Microsoft has incorporated FIDO into their Windows Hello feature and there are millions of people worldwide who are using it to authorize payments, log into accounts, check their private healthcare information and even gain access to buildings and meeting rooms.

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What sets FIDO apart is usability.

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What sets FIDO apart is usability.  By giving the users the option to secure their devices using biometrics, FIDO eliminates the need to keep track of several different credentials and makes strong authentication possible at large scale.

Of course, security is a game of details. The FIDO specification is only a protocol and not a deployable technology. It needs to be built. Here at Nok Nok Labs, we have had the pleasure of working with leading organizations to develop and license our technology to secure the entirety of the required architecture -- from the trusted execution environment at the silicon layer, to the ecosystem of authenticators capable of plugging into the network, to the operating systems on devices and the servers on the back end.

This expertise can be leveraged by our clients and partners to create a flexible, extensible platform capable of providing a seamless experience to their users and proof against the disruptive innovations coming in the world of biometrics.

While there will be uncertainty with the next Administration, Nok Nok Labs will continue to work to achieve our long-held goals to have FIDO be ubiquitous on devices, in applications, in authenticators, contained within browsers and operating systems and embedded in silicon. No single vendor can move this mountain on their own. We applaud the Commission in its recommendations and look forward to continuing the journey we started several years ago.