Who Needs Biometric Authentication? 

Biometric authentication methods are more common every day. What we once saw in sci-fi movies and television is now mainstream. We hold devices with biometric reading in the palms of our hands, as most smartphones today have fingerprint readers, face recognition, or both.

As biometrics makes its way into our lives, what does this mean for businesses? More specifically, what does this mean for your business?

A recent study found that more than half of businesses, 62%, use biometric authentication methods for their devices. That number is expected to grow to 86% by 2020.

Should you jump on board?

In this post, we’ll share what you need to know to make an informed decision. Of course, if you have more questions, we’re here to answer them.

Types of Biometric Authentication Methods

 Biometrics technology helps us add an authentication method that is more secure than text-based authentication, like PINs and passwords. It doesn’t answer “who are you?” but rather, “can you prove it?”

There are several ways to prove your authenticity, down to the veins in your fingers. Here are a few of the most common:

  • Fingerprint Identification
  • Facial Recognition
  • Iris Scan
  • Retina Scan
  • Signature Verification
  • Voice Analysis
  • Handprint Scan

Biometric authentication, as a whole, is more secure than any other method, but the different types have similar levels of security. The method you choose is a question of which you would prefer based on your environment and needs.

Advantages of Biometrics

As we mentioned, biometric technology provides a more secure way to prove who a person is. You can implement any of these methods as one part of a two-factor authentication control. These are the benefits to consider:

  • Biometrics are more difficult to mimic or steal. Because human features are distinct, biometrics are a prime way to verify identity. Whereas a PIN or password can be guessed or a device can be stolen, biometric technology minimizes the element of human interference. When we say it’s unlikely to be stolen, we’re obviously excluding the countless movie scenes you’re likely reviewing in your head. Yes, we know the ones. So, let’s say except for situations involving severed fingers.
  • Your employees won’t forget their fingerprints. This one hardly needs an explanation. We’re humans, and that means that we lose, forget, and break things—all the time. Your employees won’t lose, forget, or break what they need for biometric authentication. On second thought, maybe they can break a finger, but you get the idea!
  • It’s secure enough for the government and prisons. Biometrics are often used in government offices and prisons. Anywhere with maximum security will use biometrics instead of passwords and badges because, again, they are less likely to be stolen. If it’s secure enough for these high-stakes locations, you can place a decent amount of trust in its security level.
  • It’s efficient, saving you time and money. Biometric systems are made with ease of use in mind. These devices are built to be easy to use and easy to manage. Whichever side you’re on, saved time is beneficial. Most biometric technology works in seconds. Not to mention the money it can save if it prevents a breach, which could cost up to $700 million, depending on the size of the breach and the size of your business.

Disadvantages of Biometrics

  • You can’t change your fingerprint if there’s a breach. In the event that a breach does occur and a biometric element is forged, you cannot change your fingerprint like you would a password.
  • They can be expensive. In spite of having a high ROI when it comes to security, and in spite of biometric technology being cheaper than it’s ever been, it still can have a hefty upfront cost.
  • Performance varies between systems. Be sure the system you choose fits your environment’s current and future needs. Without proper due diligence, you could pay for a system that doesn’t measure up.

Overall, biometric authentication has been proven to be more secure. When used in conjunction with a second method of authentication, biometric technology could be the layer of security that stands between your company and a cybersecurity breach.

Contact Technology Lab to learn more about how to keep your data safe. Our experts are available to answer your questions about managed IT services and how to add value to your day-to-day operations.