Huh…Using Your Fingerprint or Iris Scan to Access Popular Websites and Applications?
Making the Case for Biometrics and Multi-factor Authentication
It’s hard to believe but the recently released Verizon 2013 Data Breach Investigations Report found that a whopping 76 percent of network intrusions exploited weak or stolen passwords or credentials.
That’s nearly four out of every five breaches (there were a total of 621) analyzed in this year’s report.
It’s clear that we have reached the point where a username-password combination does not provide the level of security to adequately protect our online activities. Think of the number of websites and applications you access on a daily basis and then think of your username-password combinations. Are they the same or nearly identical? Therein lies the issue.
Username-password combinations, for a variety of reasons, are inherently weak. (At least while they are used alone.) However, when used in combination with another method of identification (form factor), we can boost the strength of username-password combination and improve our online security.
Biometrics – a fingerprint, an iris scan, a voice sample – offer a great deal of promise in creating an online identity system that utilizes multi-factor authentication techniques. Think of any futuristic science fiction program or movie and you will know that these concepts are not new.
The time is quickly approaching where the barriers preventing widespread adoption of biometrics will begin to fall. The cost of hardware is decreasing, bandwidth is increasing and processing techniques are improving. The result is a strong business case for utilizing biometrics as part of a broader scheme to validate online identities.
Verizon and its universal identity management team is working closely with public sector organizations, private companies and other third-party groups to create a more secure online experience for all Web users. Biometrics is part of the answer.