Fujitsu today announced that it will begin offering a new FIDO-compliant service for online biometric authentication. The “Online Biometric Authentication Service” will initially roll out from early April 2017, starting with Japan.
With this service, Fujitsu will provide companies that offer online services with the servers and software necessary to implement FIDO (Fast IDentity Online), services that support the construction of cloud environments, and also software development kits and development support for incorporating FIDO into client-side applications.
Customers can use this service to easily build online personal authentication systems with robust security and that do not require passwords for a variety of day-to-day situations, such as online banking and shopping, ticket arrangements, and car sharing. This also reduces the burden of getting online authentication services up and running. In addition, because this service functions to use FIDO with facial recognition obtained through camera-equipped smartphones and other biometrics, the number of supported devices on the client side can be dramatically expanded.
This service is being positioned as one of the IoT solutions that are being developed for FUJITSU Digital Business Platform MetaArc(1). With MetaArc, which enables customers to undergo digital transformations, Fujitsu is supporting connections between people, things, and infrastructure across company and industry boundaries, and contributing to creating new value and strengthening competitiveness for customers.
As the number of people using online banking and e-commerce has increased in recent years, there are concerns about the safety of online authentication via passwords for a variety of services, and the harm from leaks of personal information and account spoofing have become a problem for society. Password-based personal authentication has also been criticized for the high risks of harm from identity fraud and unauthorized use of services, such as list attacks, which target repeated use of the same password for multiple services, and key loggers, which record a keyboard’s activity to steal passwords.
At the same time, biometric-authentication-equipped devices, such as smartphones, are becoming familiar to users, creating an environment where biometric authentication can be easily used.
On August 1, 2016, Fujitsu joined the FIDO Alliance, an international NPO which promotes the standardization of password-less online authentication technology, as a sponsoring member.
FIDO is a new authentication method that resolves the vulnerabilities of password-based online authentication by using biometric authentication and public key encryption(2) which do not depend on IDs or passwords. With FIDO, users simply register their FIDO-compatible device, such as a smartphone, with the online service they want to use, which enables them to do things like log in or make payments authenticated by the biometric information stored on their device, eliminating the need for passwords and improving both safety and convenience. Businesses that provide online service can accept authentication from a wide variety of FIDO devices, just by adding support for FIDO to their server and client applications, and by adopting an authentication method using public key encryption, they can also reduce their data storage risks because it is no longer necessary to manage the biometric information of the users of their service on their own servers.
Summary of the Online Biometric Authentication Service
1. Flexible support for customers implementing FIDO
Fujitsu is supporting customers in implementing FIDO, by providing the necessary FIDO-compliant software and servers, building necessary cloud environments, and providing services that support the development of client applications. In this way, Fujitsu can reduce the burden of customers looking to start services with online authentication.
2. Development of and support for software that features FIDO support for multiple clients
Based on the technologies accumulated through the development of its smart devices and sensors, Fujitsu is offering a software development kit and development support services necessary for incorporating FIDO into the client applications for online services installed on users’ biometric authentication devices. Because it is possible to incorporate biometric authentication functionality to camera-equipped smartphones that do not feature biometric authentication sensors, applications can broadly cover Android and iOS smartphone users, covering 98% of smartphone users in Japan in 2017 (according to research by Fujitsu).
Pricing and Availability
Fujitsu is aiming to provide the service for 10 million IDs by fiscal 2018.
Going forward, Fujitsu plans to expand the service to cover authentication on a variety of devices.
A digital business platform that fuses advanced technology such as the cloud, mobile, big data, IoT, and AI, with Fujitsu’s systems engineering knowledge and experience.
(2) Public key encryption
A method of encryption that uses two keys, a public key and a private key, to encrypt and decrypt data.