The FIDO (Fast Identity Online) Alliance released their first documents for stronger authentication at the end of 2014 with version 1.0 of their Universal Authentication Framework (UAF) and Universal 2nd Factor (U2F) specifications. The group of more than 150 member organizations hopes to usher in the post-password era through biometrics, hardware and other forms of authentication, and is continuing to expand on their specifications to incorporate NFC and Bluetooth capabilities.
The FIDO Alliance formed in 2012 and has continued to grow as major financial institutions, payment, hardware, and technology organizations have joined. Board level members include Alibaba Group, Bank of America, Google, Microsoft, Visa, MasterCard and others. The Alliance’s first formal and published specifications outline a new standard for authentication offering “FIDO-enabled authenticators” that any organization, website or application can interface with. The intent is for the specifications to be an open standard rather than patent-restricted authentication processes or protocols as board level organizations Google and Nok Nok Labs each donated intellectual property. FIDO members can freely implement and market solutions around the FIDO-enabled authenticators while non-members can freely deploy these solutions as well.