Earlier today, Apple Insider reported that security body FIDO had got new backing from Apple, Google, and Microsoft, announcing that they all are expanding support for the alliance’s passwordless sign-in standard.
Apple joined the FIDO (Fast Identity Online) alliance in 2020. Now, after a couple of years, the Cupertino-based company announces its extended support for the group’s technology and goals. In simple words, the alliance is going to allow websites and apps to use more secure and simpler sign-ins, that is, with no passwords.
“Just as we design our products to be intuitive and capable,” said Apple senior director of platform product marketing, Kurt Knight, in the statement, “we also design them to be private and secure.”
“Working with the industry to establish new, more secure sign-in methods that offer better protection and eliminate the vulnerabilities of passwords is central to our commitment to building products that offer maximum security and a transparent user experience,” continued Knight, “all with the goal of keeping users’ personal information safe.”
Passwords Are Not Secure
According to FIDO, password authentication is one of the biggest security problems. First, the alliance means the problems caused by reused passwords. Plus, it means the cumbersome management of passwords. TechCrunch found that Verizon’s annual data breach report says 80% of all passwords are weak and easily guessable. So the upcoming standard for a secure passwordless sign-in ought to solve all the aforementioned problems.
“Users will sign in through the same action that they take multiple times each day to unlock their devices,” says the alliance, “such as a simple verification of their fingerprint or face, or a device PIN.”
Honestly, we still can’t imagine how a device PIN would be more secure than the passwords we use.
However, the approach does combine with Apple’s own proposed passkey feature, previously announced at WWDC 2021. This is designed to mimic hardware security keys but uses iCloud Keychain instead of a physical device.
So far, Apple has introduced initial support for its passkey password technology in iOS 15.4.
For the time being, there is no expected launch date for this new feature on any platform. As the alliance’s statement reads, Apple, Google, and Microsoft will implement the features “over the course of the coming year.”
So we think Apple will announce it at WWDC 2022. Therefore, the release of this feature for large masses is quite possible to happen in the fall. The new iPhones might come with this feature.