The Future of Passwords and Biometrics

Businessman pressing security text and icon on digital world map technology style Elements of this image furnished by NASA

 

In today’s world filled with computers, smartphones, and other smart gadgets, passwords have played an important role. Passwords have played a key role in authenticating one’s identity online. But how long do you think this authentication measure will work? The power of the computers is increasing every day. Such computers, when used by hackers and scammers, can prove to them as an effective tool for cracking passwords and accessing our online databases.

Simple or even complex passwords are easily crack able thanks to the advances in the field of technology. There has been a growing demand for using biometrics in place of textual passwords. But are biometrics as safe and secure as its supporters claim it to be?

In this article, we shall be analyzing the future of passwords and the shift in the methods of authenticating your identity. We shall also be analyzing about the various option available to us in case passwords are proved to be ineffective in the near future. Keep reading:

Are biometrics really that secure?

You may say that biometrics are the most secure way of authentication. However, biometrics has its own flaws, sometimes, even more dangerous than those in the textual passwords. Biometrics involve various methods like retina scan, finger-print scans, facial recognition. All these methods have their own merits and flaws. However, thinking them of being flawless is an overstatement which can cost you dearly.

Consider the following situation: You are “under the influence” of drugs or alcohol. Someone knowingly/forcefully puts your thumb on the finger-print sensors and steals your data.

What do you do in such a situation? Can you change your biological information? Someone said it right, that “I can change my password, but I can’t change my eyeballs!” Further, there are chances of such biometric data being stolen from the server of such companies storing such data and reverse engineered to create another set of biometric credentials to hack into your system.

What might be the future?

There are already several features in the present world which is a reflection of what is to come in the near future. There are Bluetooth bands around your arms to unlock your phone, or gadgets that follow your voice commands. Apart from these, your behavioral patterns may also be used in the future to authenticate yourself. Given below are a list of behavioral pattern which could be used for authentication purposes:

· Characteristics of speech

“Voiceprints” will not be enough. Voiceprints will be supplemented with additional information like accent, emotional state, cadence, which will form a part of a strong password.

· Blinking

MasterCard has already implemented the Identity Check system whereby you can use a selfie to authenticate yourself. In addition to selfies, the check also requires you to blink. The blink patterns may prove to be a key factor in differentiating between the true user and an imposter.

· Walking

You walking pattern might also add a layer of security. You speed, or gait will provide your devices with sufficient information to determine the authenticity of the owner.

Endnote

From the above discussion, it becomes very clear that passwords and biometrics are not secure enough in today’s online world. There, definitely, is a need for a stronger authentication method which has no or little loopholes. There is a need to add another layer to the biometrics to beef up the security.

In the near future, we might see a combination of biometric authenticators and other methods to enable swift and secure authentication into our devices. Hopefully, this will be done soon and in an efficient manner so that chances of being compromised remains minimal.

 

 

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CEO, Author of the #1 Risk to Small Businesses

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