It will soon be possible for enterprise workers, partners and customers to casually access web-based sites and services using biometric ID, with Apple set to enable Face ID and Touch ID authentication in Safari, the company said at WWDC 2020.

Time to toughen up

This move is important because the scourge of online crime is not abating, and traditional passcode-based protection has proved itself insufficient. As we move into a world of quantum computing, breaking password-protection will only get easier, which is why biometric protection adds another layer of access control. We need to toughen up every level of security.

(Location-based protection is also coming into view, as are always-on automated security systems that constantly monitor for anomalous use and sketchy requests.)

Apple, Google, Microsoft and others have seen this coming, which is why they’ve worked together on the FIDO Alliance, a group that develops secure authentication systems such as USB and NFC security keys. The Alliance’s main goal is to reduce a reliance on passwords. At this point, more than two billion devices (from Apple and others) support FIDO technology.

(Apple actively joined the alliance earlier this year, but has been testing its technologies since 2018.)

What WebAuthn does

Apple at WWDC 2020 confirmed that iOS 14 and macOS 11 will introduce support for a FIDO standard called Web Authentication (WebAuthn) in Safari. The standard is a web-based API that allows websites to update their login pages to add FIDO-based authentication on supported browsers and platforms.

Copyright © 2020 IDG Communications, Inc.



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