Biometric Technology: A Game-Changer in Mobile Security

Biometric tech phone.

Smartphone security remains one of the top challenges in the mobile tech industry, especially with the rise in adoption of mobile devices in workplaces. In fact, data security remains the top concerns for business that have implimented ‘bring your own device’ strategies (72%), based on the Crowd Research Partner’s BYOD & Mobile security study.

So it’s refreshing news that new high-tech solutions are offering a secure way to address the issue. Mobile manufacturers have started adopting biometric technology to amplify the security features of smartphones. The technology paved the way for the two-way authentication process that offers layer upon layer of security to ensure users and their data are safe.

Compared to passwords that can be easily hacked, biometric scanning relies on personalized features that are difficult to duplicate such as fingerprint, facial, and iris scanning technologies. Efficiency is one of its greatest features, as users do not need to keep track or remember a sequence of numbers and letters just to access their device.

Personalized biometric scanning

There are currently two prevalent biometric scanners available on smartphones: fingerprint recognition and iris recognition. The former is more common in most mid- to high-range devices that ensure the owner is the only one able to unlock their handset. Most mobile payment apps have also integrated the use of fingerprint sensors as an additional layer of security for each transaction. However, concerns have been raised related to the fingerprint scanning’s security as it is said to be vulnerable to hackers who can easily duplicate a user’s fingerprint.

As a result, we saw the emergence of iris sensors as a viable option for mobile security. Today, it is also being utilized for high-security industries, including government, healthcare, and finance. Although relatively new, iris biometric security is gaining recognition after Samsung adopted the technology on their latest handsets. Gizmodo’s David Nield discussed the most secure way to lock smartphones and explained that “iris scanning is theoretically more secure than fingerprint scanning, because there are more data points to match up with.” O2 featured the iris scanner on the Galaxy S8 page and mentioned that “it’s up to 200 times more secure than the fingerprint technology.” It’s also very easy to use – users simply need to look at the front camera and the sensors will recognize the user’s iris based on the registered eye image of the owner.

Meanwhile, face recognition is also expected to regain popularity as Apple is rumored to be including Face ID on the iPhone 8. This security feature was initially included on the Android Ice Cream Sandwich version. However, being a completely new technology, people easily saw how easy it is to bypass the Android face recognition by using a picture. If Apple is able to develop their Face ID that can scan a 3D image, then it will be an easy home run for the company. So far, there’s no update yet whether this feature will arrive on the iPhone 8.

More than to secure

While the main purpose of biometric scanners is to secure users from data leakage or any form of hacking for that matter, the technology can also be used to enhance customer engagement. These sensors can be used by businesses to make the process of acquiring customer login information more efficient and ultimately quickly. A Gigya survey on biometric authentication over traditional passwords mentioned that 68% abandon the creation of an online account because of the complex password requirement and process, while 55% said they abandon a login page as they forgot their login details.

Businesses can improve customer experience by building a customized biometric scanning experience for their target audience. They can innovate and make the process of password management and login authentication easier for customers as well as their staff, which in turn will enhance engagement and improve the company’s data security. Likewise, customers will be encouraged to complete payments and other secure transactions rather than abandoning them out of frustration over a forgotten password.

Images: Photo Credit: TheBetterDay Flickr via Compfight cc
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Just a regular computer user. I write for regular users like me. When we grow up we are taught basic security tips like how to cross the street. But we are not taught how to take care of ourselves online.