Microsoft: Biometrics are the future of Windows 10 security

Microsoft has joined the FIDO Alliance and has added its biometrics technology to the upcoming Windows 10 upgrade

With the use of passwords coming under increased scrutiny, Microsoft is taking steps to move beyond them in Windows 10. Its biggest move: Joining the FIDO (Fast Identity Online) Alliance and adding support for the biometrics technology in the upcoming upgrade of the OS, which has been slated to ship this year.

"Transitioning away from passwords and to a stronger form of identity is one of the great challenges that we face in online computing, and we believe FIDO authentication, which is the subject of great discussion here at the White House cybersecurity summit, is the pathway to success," said Microsoft's Dustin Ingalls, in a blog post late last week.

With Windows 10, Windows devices and Microsoft-owned and partner SaaS services supported by Azure Active Directory authentication can be accessed via an enterprise-grade two-factor authentication solution -- without a password, Ingalls said. Windows 10 will include Active Directory integration for on-premise scenarios and Microsoft Account integration for consumer services like and OneDrive. Ingalls said that Microsoft has contributed design inputs to the FIDO Alliance that will be incorporated into the FIDO 2.0 specification.

"This new standard for security devices and browser plug-ins will allow any website or Cloud application to interface with a broad variety of existing and future FIDO-enabled devices that the user has for online security," the FIDO Alliance site states. FIDO specifications cite a password-less experience, with FIDO protocols leveraging public key cryptography and resistance to phishing.

The subject of passwords was the focus of a panel discussion at the White House Summit on Cyber Security and Consumer Protection last week at Stanford University, with Lorrie Cranor, a faculty member at Carnegie Mellon University, discussing the university's research in the area. CMU found obstacles with authentication methodologies, and having users change passwords frequently means passwords get weaker and weaker, she said. Cranor even wore a dress festooned with the 500 most-common passwords, such as "tinkerbell."

CMU also has looked at smartphone biometrics, including facial recognition and biometrics. "We found a lot of usability problems with face recognition, which basically doesn't work in the dark," Cranor said.

Join the CSO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags white houseMicrosoftsecurity

More about MellonMicrosoftStanford University

Show Comments

Featured Whitepapers

Editor's Recommendations

Solution Centres

Stories by Paul Krill

Latest Videos

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Will your data protection strategy be enough when disaster strikes?

    Speakers: - Paul O’Connor, Engagement leader - Performance Audit Group, Victorian Auditor-General’s Office (VAGO) - Nigel Phair, Managing Director, Centre for Internet Safety - Joshua Stenhouse, Technical Evangelist, Zerto - Anthony Caruana, CSO MC & Moderator

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: The Human Factor - Your people are your biggest security weakness

    ​Speakers: David Lacey, Researcher and former CISO Royal Mail David Turner - Global Risk Management Expert Mark Guntrip - Group Manager, Email Protection, Proofpoint

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Current ransomware defences are failing – but machine learning can drive a more proactive solution

    Speakers • Ty Miller, Director, Threat Intelligence • Mark Gregory, Leader, Network Engineering Research Group, RMIT • Jeff Lanza, Retired FBI Agent (USA) • Andy Solterbeck, VP Asia Pacific, Cylance • David Braue, CSO MC/Moderator What to expect: ​Hear from industry experts on the local and global ransomware threat landscape. Explore a new approach to dealing with ransomware using machine-learning techniques and by thinking about the problem in a fundamentally different way. Apply techniques for gathering insight into ransomware behaviour and find out what elements must go into a truly effective ransomware defence. Get a first-hand look at how ransomware actually works in practice, and how machine-learning techniques can pick up on its activities long before your employees do.

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Get real about metadata to avoid a false sense of security

    Speakers: • Anthony Caruana – CSO MC and moderator • Ian Farquhar, Worldwide Virtual Security Team Lead, Gigamon • John Lindsay, Former CTO, iiNet • Skeeve Stevens, Futurist, Future Sumo • David Vaile - Vice chair of APF, Co-Convenor of the Cyberspace Law And Policy Community, UNSW Law Faculty This webinar covers: - A 101 on metadata - what it is and how to use it - Insight into a typical attack, what happens and what we would find when looking into the metadata - How to collect metadata, use this to detect attacks and get greater insight into how you can use this to protect your organisation - Learn how much raw data and metadata to retain and how long for - Get a reality check on how you're using your metadata and if this is enough to secure your organisation

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them Featuring: • John Baird, Director of Global Technology Production, Deutsche Bank • Samantha Macleod, GM Cyber Security, ME Bank • Sherrod DeGrippo, Director of Emerging Threats, Proofpoint (USA)

    Play Video

More videos

Blog Posts

Market Place