In light of recent news that over 500 million Yahoo accounts were compromised, it is clear that we need to start seriously thinking about new security system replacements for passwords. So it is fitting that Lenovo announced a partnership to bring FIDO fingerprint authentication to its laptops. The newly announced partnership between Lenovo, Intel, Synaptics and PayPal 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 such as PayPal. This close partnership is anchored by the security specifications of Fast Identity Online (FIDO) Alliance, which has widespread support across the industry.
The FIDO Alliance is a consortium founded several years ago in part by Lenovo and PayPal — backed by many major companies such as, 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 is 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 and Security Operations, so it is 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 is possible that the first units could be announced at that event.