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Biometrics essential to combining security and convenience: Isabelle Moeller

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Biometrics Institute CEO Isabelle Moeller has published an editorial asserting why biometrics are essential to combining security and convenience, or as she explains, “only biometrics can unify the age-old opposing forces of user-experience and digital security.”

Moeller states that the past five years has pushed biometrics into the mainstream with the increasing use of smartphone fingerprint authentication, voice recognition in telephone banking and face recognition-enabled airport checkpoints.

Despite this increased adoption of biometrics, security breaches continue to occur more frequently than ever, proving that biometrics are “far from infallible and most certainly are not an ‘overnight solution’ to the world’s digital ID problems.”

Moeller explains that biometrics can greatly increase security when adding the right ingredients to the mix, as well as states that “there is an urgent need to spice things up” in digital identity — particularly in user authentication.

She goes on to state how digital services and cloud-based platforms, which each requires independent user verification, is easily outperforming the old username and password (UNP) model.

Moeller writes: “Various services exist to help mitigate UNP vulnerability (password ‘vaults’ and management applications) but few would disagree that these are at best sticking plaster solutions; the days of UNPs are numbered.”

She says that while two-factor/multi-factor authentication solutions and physical authentication tokens are far more impenetrable than UNPs, their adoption rates are relatively low and their authentication process is laborious, respectively.

For this reason, Moeller says there is “little doubt that the future of digital identity lies in using multiple factors to verify a user’s authenticity,” with the differentiator being that “one or more of those factors will be delivered biometrically, enabling the authentication process to be vastly simplified and greatly accelerated.”

Moeller explains how the Biometrics Institute Digital Services Working Group is researching various biometric capture technologies in an open, collaborative and commercially neutral forum, while keeping in mind any privacy concerns related to the storage and sharing of captured biometric data.

The organization is collaborating with various industries to accelerate the innovation of these technologies, and ultimately decrease the lead time before full deployments are achieved.

“The world of digital services is evolving at a tremendous pace and the threats to personal data security are increasing as a result,” Moeller writes. “Only when biometrics have been successfully integrated will multifactor authentication solutions be able to deliver the user experience demanded by today’s digital consumer. Mass adoption will then follow and all that inhabit digital world will be safer for it.”

Earlier this year, Biometrics Institute CEO Isabelle Moeller penned an editorial that explores both the benefits and challenges of deploying biometric technologies at national borders.

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