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See Ya Later, Passwords

See Ya Later, Passwords

Reading time: 3 minutes

It won’t be soon enough for some users

As hackers get more sophisticated and exploit more and more security loopholes, biometric security systems are becoming an essential part of multifactor authentication. And while the death of the password may be overexaggerated, 80% of users who are open to biometric authentication think it’s more secure than traditional usernames or passwords.[1]
“Online sites are aware of these issues,” explains Jim Waldron, Senior Architect for Platform Security at HP, “and so some of them have increased the security by adding secret questions and answers like: ‘What is your mother’s maiden name?’ Unfortunately, much of this ‘private’ information can be legally purchased from online data aggregators.”
“At a very high level,” says Waldron, “what we need are new, more secure methods for users to identify themselves to online services—methods that are also easy for users to perform.” Which is why biometrics is projected to surpass $11 billion in North America by 2023. [2]

What’s going on in biometrics security these days? (A lot.)

  • If biometrics means easier air travel and less time in the security line, people are all for it. A 2019 study found that 81 percent of Americans are willing to share their biometric information at the airport. [3]
  • Iris recognition is a rapidly-growing segment of biometrics security for a few reasons: It’s accurate, simple to use, and difficult to replicate. Banks and financial institutions are investing heavily in this area—expect an eye scanner at your corner ATM in the not-too-distant future.
  • We’ve heard about eyes before, but what about ears? Everyone’s ear canals are unique, and so is the way sound resonates within them. Japan’s NEC Corporation announced a new technology that will capture sound-resonating data with special earbuds—with a 99% accuracy rate.
  • Your gait, or the way you walk, can be analyzed with video cameras.[4] At some point in the future the sensors in your smart phone will be able to measure it as well.

What are the risks?

  • Bio-data theft. Passwords are inherently private, but your body parts are not. Hackers can take a photo of your face or swipe your fingerprint off a glass from a bar—then get full access to your phone. And once your bio-data is compromised, it’s gone—you can change your password, but you can’t change your iris scan.
  • Constant monitoring. Are you comfortable with it? Sure, it’s OK if it allows safe access to your credit card—but other parties may eventually want to access that information as well.

How can it help your business?

  • Increased registration. When customers are confident that their personal data is safe, they’re more likely to give it to you.
  • Data and insights. You’ll learn a bit more about who your customers are and how you can best serve them.
  • Better security. No one wants a data breach—least of all your business.

How can you get started?

If your business is not ready to go full-bio yet, consider requiring multi-factor identification, something HP offers on all Elite PCs, in your future PC configurations.
[1] Biometric Update: North American biometrics market forecast to surpass $11B by 2023
[2] Gigya, New Survey: Businesses Should Begin Preparing for the Death of the Password

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