Last week, Nok Nok attended Authenticate 2023, the industry’s only conference dedicated to all aspects of user authentication, with a focus on FIDO. According to a poll, over half of the attendees were new to FIDO, highlighting the growing interest. It was incredible to see how far the industry has come. When the FIDO Alliance was first founded 11 years ago by Nok Nok and 5 other visionary co-founders, passwordless authentication was just a bold theoretical idea. This, however, marked the start of an industry movement to passwordless authentication. With over 600 attendees representing major platforms, vendors, and industries, Authenticate 2023 demonstrated the tremendous momentum and excitement building around passkeys.
Leading up to the conference, Google and Apple made big announcements concerning passkeys. All users signing in to Google accounts will be prompted to create and use passkeys instead of passwords. Similarly, Apple announced their plans to automatically assign a passkey to a user’s Apple ID when it launches iOS 17, iPadOS 17 and macOS Sonoma.
These major industry roll outs signal that passkeys are ready for mainstream adoption everywhere we currently use passwords. There were many sessions on passkey success stories, with practical advice on real-world implementation and deployment considerations.
User Experience is Key for Growth
One key focus at Authenticate 2023 was the importance of optimizing the user experience for passkeys. There were many informative sessions covering how to refine the passkey authentication experience for users. Speakers shared user experience (UX) design principles to keep in mind, accessibility considerations for inclusive authentication, and ideas for balancing strong security with usability in passkey flows. The sessions made clear that while technology may enable passwordless authentication, thoughtfully designing the UX is crucial for driving mass adoption.
With passkeys becoming more widely used, the conference examined deployment challenges, best practices, and lessons learned for a wide range of workforce and consumer-facing use cases. These included fintech (Intuit), media, e-commerce, travel, and gaming. The sessions provided key takeaways for organizations implementing FIDO-based authentication including Nok Nok’s session by Dr. Rolf Lindemann on Strategies for Using Passkeys in Regulated Markets.
FIDO Usage in the Government
Several sessions dove into adoption of FIDO standards and passkeys by government agencies. There was recognition that while Personal Identity Verification (PIV) cards are vital for government use cases, FIDO has an important role to play in addressing gaps where PIV cards are not viable. These insights highlighted the complementary value and growing role passkeys are playing in public sector digital transformation. For more information, see the recently published FIDO Alliance Guidance for the US Government.
From major platform announcements to real-world deployment lessons learned, Authenticate 2023 showcased the enormous progress and potential of passwordless FIDO-based authentication. As passkeys and FIDO standards continue to gain momentum, the conference provides valuable insights for any organization implementing modern authentication.