Biometric security

PCR looks at the pros and cons of this unique identification technology, and its potential impact across the consumer and business markets
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Biometric security solutions are becoming more popular; PCR looks at the pros and cons of this unique identification technology, and its potential impact across the consumer and business markets.

Biometric technology uses fingerprint, iris scanning, voice and facial recognition to allow secure access to devices and spaces.

The adoption of biometric security is enticing for vendors who are now looking to integrate the technology into their portfolios. This is in direct response to consumers becoming more comfortable with this ever-evolving and increasingly prevalent technology market. 

Ollie Hayler, business development lead in biometrics, at Fujitsu UK and Ireland, says: “With the growing use of Apple products, consumers are now more comfortable with fingerprint scanners, and biometric techniques are quickly gaining traction as a two factor authentication alternative.” 

Due to consumers recognising the security benefits of biometrics, many vendors are looking at other aspects of this access enabling form of security. Hayler explains: “One example that stands out is palm vein, which looks at the characteristics of the vein itself as these are unique to every individual. It’s a technology that is already proven. It is used for access in secure environments such as hospitals, and is touch free. It is currently being used for financial transactions at ATM’s and kiosk terminals at several banks around the globe, and there are ongoing deployments to use the palm vein prints of every individual for government and welfare accreditation. 

“While we don’t expect biometric adoption to happen overnight, biometric verification of identity on
a personal device will become a standard identification process.”

One of the main benefits of biometric solutions for consumers and businesses is that even seasoned hackers cannot duplicate the security access methods easily. This, along with the ease of use, is a big reason why consumers have greater access to biometric technology in their daily lives. 

“It’s a technology that is already proven in secure environments such as hospitals, ATM’s and kisok terminals at banks around the globe.” 
Ollie Hayler, Fujitsu Biometrics

Hayler continues: “As the technical capabilities of cyber criminals continue to outpace the UK’s ability to deal with cyber threats, it’s obvious that more needs to be done to protect organisations. Attackers will always take the easiest route possible to breach a network, and often seek to bypass perimeter controls via social engineering and phishing methods. 

Organisations must take the fight to cyber criminals before they can act. Get on the front-foot, be proactive and get a layered defence in place that will enable real-time threat reporting before a threat becomes a compromise. Key to this is the use of threat intelligence and other information sources.”

Keeping up with threat detection solutions has influenced some vendors to become more creative with biometrics. 

Neil Marshall, client solutions director at Dell EMEA said: ”Dell has integrated biometric authentication methods such as fingerprint readers and facial recognition in a range of devices. Professionals can take advantage of the security capabilities of Dell’s laptops with integrated fingerprint authentication, and the Windows Hello facial recognition feature.”

It is increasingly likely that consumers will have used a device or accessed their personal data utilising biometrics. As Hayler clarified, Apple has made strides with its fingerprint login technology, however, some vendors have also anticipated consumers’ shift towards biometrics. 

Dell, for example, have already begun to introduce specific fractions of their target market to this technology as well. “For consumers, the new Alienware 17 integrates Tobii Eye Tracking technology, which unlocks new ways to game and stay secure through presence detection,” Marshall explains. “Dell is also the only PC manufacturer to offer a separate security chip to process and store credentials for stronger authentication capabilities than competitor brands.”

Whilst biometric accessibility is quickly becoming the norm in mobile technology, the interest amongst other vendors, like Dell and Fujitsu, will help drive further interest into the burgeoning and exciting biometric marketplace.

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