With many people using insecure passwords and falling victim to phishing attacks, a number of vendors and organizations are turning to biometrics as a solution to add two-factor identification for extra security.
The increasing number of people losing smart phones and tablets which could have sensitive corporate data is one of the drivers for fingerprint scanners on mobile devices.
Certainly the evidence is there that use of the technology is climbing. As an article on CSO Online notes, a number of recent research reports can document the rise. Juniper Research, for example, says more than 770 million biometric authentication applications will be downloaded each year by 2019. Within three years, biometrics will become a standard feature on smartphones as well as other mobile devices, says another firm.
One coming change that will help is that the upcoming Windows 10 will support the Fast Identification Online (FIDO) security system, which includes making it easier to add biometric authentication to the operating system. The FIDO alliance, a group of vendors supporting the standard, continues to expand. This week chipmaker Qualcomm announced its Snapdragon Sense ID 3D Fingerprint Technology, a 3D fingerprint authentication system based on ultrasonic technology.
However, like any technology, there are pros and cons. If the technology doesn’t come with a device — for example, if the organization is adding it to physical security systems or desktop computers — there are high initial costs. At least as important is ensure the security of the biometric information through encryption or other means.
As one expert notes, biometrics should be reserved for the most sensitive of applications and data in an organization with layered defences. But as threats continue to evolve CISOs have to keep the technology in mind for future deployment.