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New Tech Tuesday: Biometrics, the authentication system of the future

By October 3, 2017January 9th, 2019No Comments

As part of Security Serious Week 2017, which aims at raising awareness of cybersecurity concerns, Eskenzi PR’s blog posts will take as through various elements of the cybersecurity world. Today’s, New Tech Tuesday, will be about the exciting developments in the fields of biometrics; I will be explaining what biometrics entails, the different types of biometrics, and why they are such an exciting new development for cybersecurity professionals.

Biometrics are defined as ‘metrics relating to human characteristics’. In layman’s terms, this means that it uses elements of an individual’s physical characteristics or behaviours, to identify something about them. The most common kind of biometrics that are heard about are physical biometric solutions, such as retina scans, thumb print or facial recognition. These can all be used as forms of identification which are much more secure than the average password/username combination that we (and identity fraudsters and thieves) know and love so well. However, as has been previously discussed, these solutions are not completely fool proof…although they do have the added benefit of making whoever is using them feel remarkably like James bond!.

Hackers can still duplicate an individual’s physical traits, via photographs, but what is inherently harder to imitate, replicate or duplicate is the personal characteristics they aren’t even aware of – Let alone anyone else. This is where the cutting-edge field of passive biometrics comes into play.

Passive biometric solutions, such as those pioneered by NuData Security have made for security solutions that can identify an individual in a frictionless, user-friendly way, by analysing known passive behavioural indicators, such as the speed at which a user types on a device, the angle at which a device is held. These factors (and many more) are then cross-referenced with the user’s known behaviours (location, time of use etc) in order to build up a picture of a good user that is accurate to a degree that no other authentication method could dream of. If these solutions were deployed globally, there’s a significant chance that account takeover, fraud and other forms of identity crime would reduce significantly. So, in the future, when you’re furiously texting a WhatsApp group chat, you could be helping to keep your online accounts safe…. that’s truly taking security serious!

By Conor Heslin, Account Executive.