In light of yesterday’s news that over 500 million Yahoo accounts were compromised, it’s clear that we need to start seriously thinking about new security system replacements for passwords. So it’s fitting that Lenovo announced a partnership to bring FIDO fingerprint authentication to its laptops.
log into FIDO-compliant services without needing to enter a password
The newly announced Lenovo / Intel / Synaptics / PayPal partnership will combine Lenovo’s laptops with Intel’s on-chip hardware security, allowing you to use Synaptic's biometric fingerprint sensors to replace passwords for logging into FIDO-compliant services (like PayPal). All of this is secured by FIDO's security spec, which already has widespread support across the industry.
The FIDO Alliance is a consortium founded several years ago in part by Lenovo and PayPal — backed by tons of major companies like, Google, Bank of America, and Microsoft — with a goal to develop new methods of authentication that are simpler and more secure than passwords. The group has considered multiple approaches to replacing the password, with biometrics, USB keys, and voice and face recognition all being considered as new security standards.
It's worth noting that Microsoft announced that it would be integrating FIDO support into Windows 10 back in 2015. The current president of The FIDO Alliance, Dustin Ingalls, is also Microsoft's general manager of the Identity & Security Operations, so it's clear that this kind of integration has been in the works for a while.
No timeline was given as to when the first wave of FIDO-enabled laptops would be released, but with CES 2017 just around the corner, it’s possible we could see an announcement then.