Most of us agree that passwords are a huge headache. They are easy to forget, vulnerable to hacking, and inconvenient. But can we really live without them? The answer is yes we can! While it won’t be a transition that happens overnight, businesses need to start thinking about the future now. The ability to provide stronger security with less friction will have substantial implications on the customer experience and brand perception.
More than a change in behavior, the evolution requires a shift in mindset by consumers and businesses who have relied on passwords to protect their information and accounts for so long. The passwordless journey needs to be substantially more secure and easier than the existing journey. Trading in one set of pain points for a different set of pain points won’t suffice. As such, biometrics are emerging as the “password killer.”
Today, consumer-grade applications such as iPhone’s Face ID are bringing biometrics into the mainstream, education is needed to create more trust in the technology.
For example, on the consumer side, a common concern is:
“If my password is compromised, I can change it. I can’t change my biometrics.”
This concern is rooted in the perception that your biometrics can be “stolen.” Unlike a password, which is “something you know,” your voice or face biometrics are “something you are.” Sure, someone can obtain a photo or video of you from Facebook or record your voice and use it to trick a biometric system into thinking it sees or hears you. However, this is where liveness detection plays a critical role. It distinguishes between the real you and a spoof.
This concern may be followed by:
“But, what if my biometric “template” is stolen?”
A biometric template is a digital (binary) representation of the unique characteristics found in a person’s biometric sample. These templates are encrypted and stored for future matching. They are virtually meaningless if obtained.
Like any disruptive technology, there is a chasm to traverse. Increased user acceptance of the technology combined with the need for stronger security will continue to drive businesses to embark on the journey towards a passwordless future. What exactly that future looks like and how to get there offers much to discuss!
In the Identity Futures 2020 panel session, The Passwordless Odyssey, Powered by Biometrics, we discussed topics relevant to companies on the road to, or considering, a passwordless future. A panel of diverse experts spoke about how biometrics fit into that journey, how the technology addresses some of the challenges faced today and we discussed the best points in the journey to get started on your path.
View the recording to hear more.