German Federal Office for Information Security Joins FIDO Alliance to Advance Adoption of Simpler, Stronger Authentication in Europe
Government Agencies Represent Public Policy Considerations in the Development of FIDO Standards
Mountain View, Calif., – October 5, 2015… The FIDO (Fast IDentity Online) Alliance (http://fidoalliance.org/), an industry consortium launched in 2013 to revolutionize online security with open standards for simpler, stronger authentication, today announces that the German Federal Office for Information Security (BSI-Bundesamt für Sicherheit in der Informationstechnik) is the latest to join the Alliance under the government membership program launched earlier this year. Through the program, which includes the U.S. and U.K., governments of the world engage directly with the FIDO Alliance to inform the development of FIDO standards and accelerate worldwide adoption.
Government agencies have particular interests in and requirements for strong authentication to both secure their own applications, and to meet responsibilities in setting policy that improves cybersecurity overall. Governments can influence market acceptance of FIDO authentication, both as a significant user of the technology and as policy maker and regulator.
“The FIDO Alliance welcomes BSI as our newest FIDO Government member joining the effort to advance universal standards for strong authentication that is more secure, private, and easier-to-use than passwords,” said Dustin Ingalls, president of the FIDO Alliance.”
As the German national cybersecurity authority, the goal of the Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) is to promote IT security. The BSI is first and foremost the central IT security service provider for the German federal government. Moreover, the BSI offers services to IT manufacturers as well as private and commercial users and providers of information technology.
“As a recognized leader in cybersecurity policy, the BSI is well positioned to demonstrate the value of FIDO standards to their peer agencies in other European Union member states and establish FIDO as a recognized best practice for strong authentication by policy makers and regulators across the continent,” said Brett McDowell, executive director of the FIDO Alliance.
“Moving beyond passwords with FIDO authentication is excellent to secure networks and resources within the government enterprise,” said Bernd Kowalski, head of department Secure Electronic IDs, Certification, and Standardisation, BSI. “BSI has pursued a relationship with the FIDO Alliance and we are very pleased to be among the first government members to participate in the development of open FIDO standards and the future of authentication.”
The BSI is a member of the NFC Forum, and based on that work, the use of NFC-enabled FIDO authentication media is already included in the NFC Forum’s Use Case documentation for Public Transport. The German government is preparing a proof-of-concept for the interoperability solutions that are currently being developed by the NFC Forum in Germany. This project will include FIDO NFC media for secure sign-on to online accounts provided by Public Transport service providers.
Government agencies interested in FIDO Alliance membership should contact the FIDO Alliance at www.fidoalliance.org for more information and to apply for membership.
About The FIDO Alliance
The FIDO (Fast IDentity Online) Alliance, www.fidoalliance.org, was formed in July 2012 to address the lack of interoperability among strong authentication technologies, and remedy the problems users face with creating and remembering multiple usernames and passwords. The FIDO Alliance is changing the nature of authentication with standards for simpler, stronger authentication that define an open, scalable, interoperable set of mechanisms that reduce reliance on passwords. FIDO authentication is stronger, private, and easier to use when authenticating to online services with FIDO Certified™ products and services.
The FIDO Alliance Board of Directors includes leading global organizations: Alibaba Holdings (NYSE: BABA); ARM Holdings plc (LSE: ARM and NASDAQ: ARMH); Bank of America Corporation (NYSE:BAC); CrucialTec (KRX: 114120); Discover Financial Services (NYSE: DFS); Google (NASDAQ: GOOG); IdentityX; Intel (NASDAQ: INTC); Lenovo (NASDAQ: LNVGY); MasterCard (NYSE: MA); Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”); Nok Nok Labs, Inc.; NTT DOCOMO, INC. (NYSE: DCM); NXP Semiconductors N.V. (NASDAQ:NXPI); Oberthur Technologies OT; PayPal (NASDAQ:EBAY); Qualcomm, Inc. (Nasdaq: QCOM); RSA®; Samsung Electronics, Ltd (KOSCOM: SECL); Synaptics (NASDAQ: SYNA); Visa Inc. (NYSE: V); Yubico.
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