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Biometrics replacing passwords contingent on consumer trust, says KPMG


Financial services consulting firm KPMG recently contributed to the discussion of when passwords will be replaced by a new generation of identity verification devices that read various body functions such as heartbeat, glucose levels and vein patterns.

Matt White, senior manager in cyber security practice at KPMG, said that it all revolves around the issue of establishing consumer trust.

“Passwords have been around for so long that they are an integral and accepted part of user transactions,” said White. “Replacing passwords with biometric alternatives such as fingerprints provides better security however it doesn’t completely eliminate the risk posed by cyber criminals.

“The largest hurdle with biometrics going forward will be the establishment of consumer trust. Trying to convince the average person to implant a piece of technology to increase security of their perceived already secure account is a battle unlikely to be won.

“Rather than spending money on developing more advanced biometrics, companies should look to invest that money in user awareness and training (such as the U.K. government’s Cyber Streetwise campaign), which will provide their users with added security.”

The news comes a week after The Guardian published a piece in which it asked some of the leading experts their views on when biometrics will replace passwords as the de facto authentication method.

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