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Remote authentication keeps the world working: A Biometric Update interview series


biometrics for remote authentication identification

When nearly all work, transactions, education, and everything else began being conducted from remote by necessity due to the pandemic, strong authentication and biometrics became relied on as never before by numerous people and businesses. The way people work and study may have changed indefinitely, but many other impacts on the biometrics and digital identity market are even less certain.

The unprecedented situation raised a number of questions for Biometric Update.  Among them: How would fraud be affected by the increase in remote interactions? How can privacy be preserved when everyone needs to establish trust online?  What are voice support services doing, now that they have more work to do, and cannot do it from their specially-equipped call centers? Do new kinds of interactions place new emphasis on continuous authentication? If new facial recognition systems will be used for workplaces and public spaces, will they be based on 2D or 3D imaging?

Underlying it all was a pair of related questions: What can the industry do to help? And how will the market landscape be changed?

A half-dozen industry experts provide many answers, though admittedly also some additional questions.

Experian Head of Global Identity and Fraud Product Innovation Mike Gross explains the difference observed in the company’s pre-COVID survey between being able to log-in a credential and truly recognizing a user, which has implications for fraud control and personalization. He also pointed out the radically changed phishing landscape. Changed phishing tactics were also noted by Pindrop CEO Vijay Balasubramanian, who was able to put some numbers to the impact on interactions through the voice channel, and adoption of voice biometrics.

Attempting to scale authentication systems for remote work exposed the limitations of legacy systems,  Nok Nok Labs CEO Phil Dunkelberger argues. Luckily, according to him, the way to scale efficiently is also the way to protect user privacy, which is leveraging user devices with the FIDO protocol.

BehavioSec VP of Products Jordan Blake says that timelines for adoption are moving up, and new verticals are interested in adopting behavioral biometrics. Not only that, organizations are looking for more advanced features in authentication, such as continuity.

3D cameras are not only well-suited to distance tracking, but make the development of advanced computer vision functions easier in general, according to Orbbec CEO David Chen. The technology is ready for the opportunity which may be thrust upon it, he says.

Finally, Goode Intelligence CEO and Chief Analyst Alan Goode gives his perspective on the impact the pandemic will have on the markets contact and contactless fingerprint biometrics, the new attention on digital ID, and the chance for the industry to benefit society.

There seems to be a consensus that there is a new baseline volume of remote authentications which will remain with us. Passive, continuous, and decentralized options for authentication are not just available, but helping organizations cope now. There is also a consensus that adoption of biometrics will increase from its already-rapid pace, as the general trend, like specific industry trends, are accelerated by the forced evolution of responding to COVID-19.

Whether due to the novel coronavirus we will be scanned by facial recognition and fever-checking systems as we show our immunity passports in 2021, or will simply be authenticated with passive biometrics as we log-in from home remains to be seen. It is commonly held that in business disruption creates winners and losers. Most biometrics companies look to be in the former camp.

Read the interview series

Trends in biometrics accelerated by pandemic, analyst Goode sees chance for industry to help humanity

3D cameras ideal for facial biometrics and distance checks as world returns to work, Orbbec CEO says

Behavioral biometrics and continuous authentication advance as business adapts to remote everything

Voice biometrics adoption and call center demand increase during lockdown, Pindrop CEO says

Working, shopping and banking from home forces scalable authentication rethink, Nok Nok CEO says

Experian exec on recognition gap, enterprise IAM progress and the biometrics layer


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