The blog of this week is about Fast Identity Online (FIDO) Universal Second Factor (U2F).
Through this blog, we aim to make our readers aware of how FIDO will take away their concerns about cyber threats and the vital role that FIDO will play in our lives by proffering us with a security level.
Ambimat Electronics, with its experience of over forty years, desires to draw the attention of its readers and potential customers towards this blog post about their new product called AmbiSecure key and how it will benefit us.
Most online tools/software today request for user’s identification and passwords based on different LDAPs. But all of them have a fundamental weakness, and that is that the service or website that performs the authentication stores the confidential information that it is provided. The fact that different remote points have this information is a great incentive for malicious agents who are interested in obtaining it.
FIDO is already one of the pillars of web security of many international companies, and one of the reasons for this is that registration and account retrieval processes, which are very agile, are preventing these agents from taking control of the accounts and accessing the organizations’ communication networks.
In the case of accounts protected against phenomena such as phishing, and others based on FIDO authentication credentials, the account recovery process when a FIDO device is lost or stolen is fundamental in maintaining the integrity of the user’s account.
FIDO protocols offer a simpler authentication, with a fast and comfortable sign-in, and minimize the constant need to remember and write passwords. They also work with the same devices that are commonly used in everyday life, and with all services. Fast Identity Online allows for strong authentication that is phishing-proof and can withstand other common attacks. All of this, based on public-key encryption and without the need to let go of the device that is being used at a given time. Another of its advantages is that it makes no links between different services or accounts that the user may have.
FIDO U2F, FIDO 2 and FIDO Resident credentials
One compelling use case for FIDO U2F is the second-factor authentication. Type in your username and password and use the FIDO U2F key (whether it is a USB drive or simply your employee ID card) on your personal reader or the back of an NFC enabled cell phone or simply plugging it into the USB port of your laptop/tablet or mobile device to authenticate yourself while you log in. So even if someone gets access to your user name and password in a malicious way there is no way they can log in without the physical key.
Next is FIDO2 which is passwordless account management. Just add your username and following the same process that is suggested for the U2F key you get authenticated ‘passwordless’ into the intended system.
The latest is to use FIDO Resident Credentials which will allow users to not only go passwordless but experience username-less login as well. While many other features are on the way, this development will further change the foundational steps of how we authenticate on the web and bears some further explanation.
BENEFITS OF FIDO:
FIDO is a physical MFA method that cannot be intercepted or redirected. It is also not vulnerable to phishing attacks because the USB key only works with sites with which the user has registered. Additionally, it protects against session hijacking, man-in-the-middle, and malware attacks.
If the USB token is lost or stolen, there is no username information to be obtained. Therefore, it’s impossible for an attacker to determine who it could be used for and on which apps.
In addition to the security benefits, FIDO U2F enables secure recovery. Users can register two U2F devices with every service provider, in case one device is misplaced. Service providers can also supply the user with a backup code that can be stored in a safe place.
Easy to Use
FIDO works out of the box with native support in platforms and all major browsers including Firefox, Safari, Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Opera, etc. Because FIDO U2F is a hardware-based authentication, there is no need to enter codes or install drivers (the USB key followed the USB HID protocol hence it is simply plugged and play into any personal device). Furthermore, a single token can have keys for many different sites and apps, so there’s no need for an individual to have multiple tokens.
This ease of use makes FIDO an attractive option for young students who have trouble remembering passwords. Teachers can provide an enrolled FIDO U2F key at the beginning of each class that students can use to access their online resources. These keys are pretty affordable with some available at <$10.
Strong Privacy Protections
With FIDO, users can choose and control their online identity. Users can choose to have multiple identities or even keep their identities anonymous with no personal information associated.
Additionally, FIDO devices generate a new pair of keys for each service. Only the service stores the public key, so no secrets are shared between service providers.
These privacy protections make employing FIDO U2F as a hardware authentication method on public or shared computers a smart choice. After all, login is secured by the device, nothing is cached, and the token can be carried around once the user logs out.
FIDO is interoperable and is backed by leading internet and financial services firms.
Flexibility in Choice
Finally, FIDO is designed for many authentication modalities, such as keychain devices or integration directly into computing devices.
Corporations around the world and across many sectors can benefit from Fast Identity Online or Fast ID Online (FIDO) authentication, which their employees and users can use to minimize security risks and improve the user experience. We use FIDO for our AmbiSecure Key which offers superior security by combining hardware-based authentication and public key cryptography to effectively defend against phishing attacks and eliminate account takeovers.
The AmbiSecure Key helps organizations accelerate to a password-less future by providing support for the FIDO2 protocol. FIDO2 supports not only today’s two-factor authentication but also paves the way for eliminating weak password authentication, with strong single factor hardware-based authentication. The AmbiSecure Key provides a simple and intuitive authentication experience that users find easy to use, ensuring rapid adoption and organizational security. Ambisecure Keys do not require a battery or network connectivity, making authentication always accessible.