Before I ventured into the world of Cybersecurity, my main area expertise of Security was that of Biometrics. I have been doing that for a very long time, by even having three books written and published about the subject matter.
Heck, I even used to sell the products, and even to this day, I still sell two small devices, a Fingerprint Recognition and an Iris Recognition device. They are simple little devices, which are designed to get rid of your password, and can be connected via a USB connection.
I have actually not written about Biometrics in a long time, because of my new interest in Cybersecurity. But, if you do a Google search on my name, you will see a ton of stuff out there with me as it relates to Biometrics. There is a ton of stuff that can be written about this subject matter, especially from a blogging standpoint. But for me, I only plan to write on it as it relates to Cybersecurity.
For those of you out there who do not know what Biometrics is all about, in a very general sense, it is yet another way of confirming your identity based upon your unique physiological and/or behavioral characteristics. So for example, your fingerprint is unique amongst everybody else in the world, so that is how you can be almost 100% positively identified.
As it relates to Cybersecurity, Biometrics is now being very favorably used as a way to support what is known as “Two Factor Authentication”, or “2FA”. It is also receiving a lot of attention in terms of eliminating the password completely. This is according to a survey that was just conducted and released by a Cybersecurity firm known as Veridium. Their survey is entitled the “Biometric Consumer Sentiment Survey”, and details of it can be seen here:
Overall, 70% of the respondents claim that they would like to see an increased usage of it their respective workplaces. The survey even further broke down the reasons as to why the respondents wanted to use Biometrics, which are the following:
*Speed of authentication was cited by 35% of the respondents;
*An overall heighted sense of Security was claimed by 31% of the respondents;
*Not having to remember passwords was cited by 33% of the respondents.
Other findings include the following:
*46% Millenials (those 35 years old and under) value speed, 44% of Generation X (those between the ages of 35-55) value not having to remember passwords, 44% and Baby Boomers (those over 55 years old) value the overall level of security that Biometrics provide.
*47% of millennial respondents, in a surprising twist, prefer the use of traditional passwords over any form of biometric authentication, 42% of Generation X prefer using Fingerprint Recognition, while 30% of Baby Boomers prefer Voice Recognition.
*46% of the respondents currently use Biometrics to log into financial mobile app, 41% of the Generation X’s use of Biometrics is to pay online for vacations and travel, 28% of the Baby Boomers use Biometrics to securely access their health information and data.
Here is yet another surprising twist to this survey:
Although the respondents highly favor using Biometrics in the workplace, many of them are not trustworthy of their employers to that they will keep their Biometric information and data safe. For instance:
*Almost 60% of the respondents believe that their company would misuse their Biometrics in an unethical way;
*35% of the respondents feel that their employer will take the appropriate safeguards to protect their Biometric information and data.
My thoughts on this?
There are a few areas that sort of piqued my interest in terms of the results of this survey. For example, a majority of the respondents favored the use of Voice Recognition. While this certainly a valid tool to use, it surprised me to read about that, because normally you don’t hear about Voice Recognition being used. Rather, you hear much more about Iris Recognition being used in conjunction with Fingerprint Recognition.
Second, I am also quite surprised to see that the use of Biometrics as a means to replace to the traditional password was not ranked as high; because that is what people usually want to use Biometrics for. It is quite possible in this survey that maybe the respondents did not completely understand the potential for Biometrics.
Third, I am not at all surprised that the respondents don’t completely trust their employers when it comes to the proper usage and storage of their Biometric information/data.
The latter point is an issue that has plagued the overall adoption rate of Biometric Technology here in the United States. In fact, much of the population here is still untrustworthy of the Biometrics in general.
As you will notice, there are other countries around the world in which the adoption is much higher than ours. For example, you will even see the poorest of the poor countries on this planet use Biometrics in their E-Voting machines without hesitancy.
But here in the United States, people still scarf at the thought of having their identity confirmed by their Fingerprints when using an E-Voting machine. This misperception and mistrust of using Biometrics here in the United States is still an issue that will take a long time to overcome.
In fact, my second book, which is entitled “Adopting Biometric Technology: Challenges and Solutions” explores these social implications and provides solutions in much detail.
But, it is good to see that at least people are seeing the use of Biometrics in a positive way in terms of using it to replace the password. Perhaps this will be a key turning point when it comes to using Biometrics on a much larger scale and for more complex applications.
I have to make a point clarification here as well. It is just with the private sector (which includes both Corporate America and individuals alike) in which the adoption rate of Biometrics is so slow. This is not at all the case with the Federal Government. They are using all forms of Biometrics for some really far out applications; and it is the Department of Defense which is one of the biggest customers.
Finally, as the survey states in its conclusions, in order for organizations to increase the level of trust with their employees with regards to the storage and usage Biometric information/data, they need to be completely transparent as to how all of this will be done, and to maintain an open lines of communication with their employees for them to raise their concerns in a confidential manner.