Feature: Page (1) of 1 - 06/21/16

The Perfect Password? Youve Got Your Eye On It

By Paul Fitzgerald for America's Backbone Weekly

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Traditional passwords will soon be a thing of the past, replaced by biometrics that includes fingerprints, eye and facial scans. Is your business ready to adapt this new technology?

A fingerprint is difficult (but not impossible) to steal. And because verification happens right on the tablet or smartphone, your fingerprint information doesn't travel online, where it could get stolen by a hacker.

Passwords, on the other hand, are the weakest link in almost any security system. Their vulnerability lies, in part, on password overload -- a symptom of our logging into dozens of websites, each requiring a user ID and password. Hackers who steal passwords from one site can get into the online equivalent of Fort Knox. When hackers attack, they are able to quickly gain access to a business's private information, including names, addresses and even credit card information belonging to clients, which is detrimental on every level.

But the good news is that they can't easily steal one's unique biometrics and this is why fingerprint sensors are the heart of all new mobile-payment systems.

While fingerprint sensors are one form of password biometrics however, Body-print uses an ear impression to grant access to your mobile phone device or even your office landline. Retina scans are also a possibility and it's now possible to use knuckle prints or a set of five fingers around screen edges or the palm of a hand.

In its debut at the 2015 Computer Human Interaction Conference in Seoul, South Korea, the application correctly identified body-prints and their owners 99.98 percent of the time, and there are plans for further testing and algorithm improvement before the product goes mainstream.

Meanwhile, CBR (Consumer Business Review) predicts biometrics will be inextricably linked to the Internet of Things. This is already happening due to wearable fitness monitors and the development of something called "human sat nav," which helps direct users with tiny electrical jolts. Body-prints and similar initiatives offer a way to get this type of access in a way that's intuitive but still secure, and without the ability to lose or forget access keys.

Since traditional passwords are over 15 years old, their shelf life has come to an end and biometrics will be the new trend. Wells Fargo & Co., the popular banking giant, has just introduced eye scan, face scan and voice recognition so that corporate clientele can access its commercial banking app. JP Morgan Chase and Bank of America now allow non-business clients access to mobile banking apps through fingerprints.

While the big banks are moving quickly on the biometrics front, so are small and medium sized businesses. Meijer, a well-known supermarket in the Midwest, is now using fingerprint readers at their cash registers, which allows managers to know when and where their employees log in for work.

For businesses which want to implement this new technology, there is a huge upfront cost, like in the ten-of-thousands-of-dollars range. It's a quick process to adapt this technology for your business, but it is costly at present. However, as this technology advances, it's safe to say it will come down in price in time.

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