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Webinar addressed myths surrounding 2FA, biometrics

Categories Industry Insights

Last week, BiometricUpdate.com was pleased to moderate a webinar entitled “Debunking Biometric Myths: Moving Beyond Passwords to Empower Your Mobile Workforce”, which
was co-hosted by EyeVerify and Good Technology. Both companies were represented by Chris Barnett, EVP Sales & Marketing at EyeVerify and Eugene Liderman, Director of Public Sector, at Good Technology, respectively. The webinar examined myths concerning biometrics, mobility, passwords, security and mainly the use of two-factor authentication.

The webinar’s sponsors are widely-acknowledged leaders in two-factor authentication security solutions. EyeVerify is a developer of highly accurate biometric technology for smart devices. The firm offers its clients a password-free mobile experience with convenient, secure, and private authentication. Good Technology, who works in conjunction with EyeVerify, is a leading provider of secure mobility solutions to governments and enterprises worldwide.

During last week’s webinar, both firms explored the popular myths that surround biometrics and mobility. The main objectives of the webinar was to encourage end-users to overcome both their fears and misconceptions and fears in terms of employing biometrics and two-factor authentication. The webinar therefore focused on identifying the benefits of two-factor authentication and worked to demonstrate that implementing two-factor authentication is easier than anticipated.

According to a BiometricUpdate.com explainer, two-factor authentication, or 2FA, is a method of accessing computing and financial resources or physical facilities, with more than just a password or personal information number (PIN or passcode). Using a singular password or passcode to access such resources makes a user susceptible to security threats, because it represents a only a single piece of information that a malicious person needs to acquire. The additional security that 2FA provides thus ensures that additional information is required to sign in to computing resources, access cash or a building.

Two-factor authentication therefore creates an extra level of security which is often referred to as “multi-factor authentication”. Using a username and password or passcode, together with a piece of information that only the user knows, makes it harder for potential intruders to gain access and steal that person’s personal data or identity. Multi-factor authentication is a method of multi-faceted access control which a user can pass by successfully presenting authentication factors from at least two of the three categories:

• knowledge factors (“things only the user knows”), such as passwords or passcodes;
• possession factors (“things only the user has”), such as ATM cards or hardware tokens; and
• inherence factors (“things only the user is”), such as biometrics

Requiring more than one independent factor increases the difficulty of providing false credentials. Two-factor authentication requires the use of two of three independent authentication factors, as identified above. The number and the independence of factors is important, since more independent factors imply higher probabilities that the bearer of the identity credential actually does hold that identity.

Two-factor authentication therefore allows for either the replacement or augmentation of passwords. A previous article in BiometricUpdate.com has noted that officials in the Obama Administration have said that biometric authentication should replace passwords because passwords are an insecure and dated security technique.

The public, however, has demonstrated some resistance against biometric adoption due to a preponderance of myths. During the webinar, Rawlson King, Contributing Editor and Lead Researcher at BiometricUpdate.com outlined some of the misconceptions surrounding these myths. He noted: Biometrics are not a new concept, that the use of biometrics cannot lead to eye injuries, that biometrics do not independently authenticate identity, that biometrics are not ubiquitous and that stolen body parts cannot be used for biometric authentication.

Then EyeVerify and Good Technology addressed more specific myths surrounding the commercial implementation of biometric technologies. The companies noted biometrics are also useful for commercial applications and should not be strictly seen as only beneficial to governments. They also countered the misconception that biometrics are not scalable and demonstrated that the price of biometrics technology can be justified in terms of return-on-investment. The firms also examined the benefits and limitation of native hardware solutions during the very successful hour session that was attended by over 70 industry professionals.

EyeVerify has also published a summary of the webinar including poll results and a recording of the live event here.

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