Nok Nok Labs first to provide FIDO-based authentication for smart watches

Consumer authentication company, Nok Nok Labs,  has launched the “Nok Nok App SDK for Smart Watch,” the industry’s first FIDO-based authentication solution with support for smart watch devices.

The Nok Nok App SDK for Smart Watch allows organisations to implement FIDO-based authentication using a silent platform authenticator on smart watch devices, giving organisations the ability to provide consumers flexible, easy, and secure access with the advantage of a unified backend authentication infrastructure across all relevant digital channels – mobile applications, mobile web, desktop web and now, smart watches.

Strategy Analytics recently reported that global smart watch shipments grew an impressive 44% annually to reach 12 million units in the second quarter of 2019. Smart watch usage for applications beyond fitness has grown to include banking, productivity applications such as Slack, ecommerce such as Apple Pay, as well as home security applications such as NEST.

Access to sensitive information on a smart watch requires a very distinct user authentication process. Today’s solutions typically store OAuth tokens or other bearer tokens in their smart watch applications. Unfortunately, these tokens provide relatively weak authentication and need to be renewed frequently as they lack strong device binding.

With the Nok Nok App SDK for Smart Watch, developers can standardise on FIDO-based authentication infrastructure that lowers their cost and complexity while extending the standards-based approach from mobile applications and mobile web or desktop web applications to include smart watch applications.

The Nok Nok App SDK for Smart Watch is currently available for Apple watchOS.

The new standards-based controls from Nok Nok Labs are addressing authentication head-on by providing a solution that governs access controls directly on smart watches regardless of whether they are direct-network attached or tethered to a smartphone. Now individuals are able to utilise enterprise applications and view sensitive company data that is centrally managed with policies that ensure only authorised users have access.

Steve Brasen, research director with IT industry analyst firm, Enterprise Management Associates

The ability to access sensitive information via a smart watch necessitates a more secure method of authentication that integrates with existing backend security infrastructuresNok Nok, an inventor of FIDO specifications, now brings the same level of security to smart watches with the Nok Nok App SDK for Smart Watch, as it previously did with mobile apps and web browsers.

Dr. Rolf Lindemann VP products, Nok Nok Labs