Three flavors of passwordless biometrics; USB key, software, on-device

Kensington and Auth0 launch solutions, FPC argues for PCs
Three flavors of passwordless biometrics; USB key, software, on-device

Kensington has unveiled two new biometric hardware solutions designed to enhance security across enterprise and home applications.

The new VeriMark Guard USB-C Fingerprint Key and VeriMark Guard USB-A Fingerprint Key devices allow for biometric authentication via fingerprint sensor and are compatible with services from Google, Facebook, and Microsoft.

Thanks to Kensington’s end-to-end Match-in-Sensor Fingerprint Technology, all fingerprint data is secured and isolated in the sensor, so only an encrypted match is transferred.

The two USB dongles support all major browsers, including Chrome, Edge, Firefox, and Safari, and work natively on Windows, but also on macOS and ChromeOS via the company’s Tap-and-Go feature.

Like the other products in the Kensington VeriMark Lineup, the USB-C Fingerprint Key and Guard USB-A Fingerprint Key are FIDO2 and FIDO U2F certified, and support single-factor (passwordless) authentication, as well as dual, multi-factor, and Tap-and-Go authentication.

At the time of writing, the biometric devices cost respectively $69.99 and $64.99.

Auth0 launches WebAuthn Passwordless

The new feature enables users to log in to the Auth0 platform with a biometric identifier, facial recognition or a fingerprint, instead of a traditional password.

In WebAuthn Passwordless, all biometric data used during authentication remain on the device for extra security, and users are allowed to enroll multiple devices one at a time.

This not only removes the necessity of a centralized portal but also supports a faster transition from passwords to passwordless.

“A passwordless future is largely being driven by two primary forces — security and convenience,” explained Shiv Ramji, Chief Product Officer at Auth0.

“Companies want to secure the vulnerabilities that come with passwords, and they also want to offer their users a better digital experience. Auth0 WebAuthn Passwordless is a modern option for organizations looking to attract and retain users.”

The launch of the new features comes weeks after Auth0’s acquisition by Okta.

FPC says biometrics on PCs should follow mobile example

Fingerprint Cards (FPC) has recently published a new blog post with guidelines on the wider adoption of biometric sensors on laptop or desktop computers.

Written by Haiyuan Bu, the company’s VP of Global Customer Engineering & Sales Growth in China, the article likens the recent increase in laptop and desktop devices caused by the pandemic to the smartphone boom of the 2010s.

A recent FPC research has shown that 88 percent of consumers currently own a laptop or desktop computer, and 1 in 3 want to use fingerprint biometrics to log in to their PC, services, and apps in the future.

The data also claims users spend 41 minutes a week entering PINs and complex passwords, with 60 percent of consumers feeling they have too many passwords.

In this light, the wider adoption of biometric sensors (particularly face and fingerprint ones) would make sense both from a commercial and user-centered perspective.

According to FPC, fingerprint sensors have seen the widest adoption of any other form of biometrics on smartphones.

This, Bu explained, is due to the ease of implementation of fingerprint sensors.

“They can be integrated into the power button, in touchpads, on the side, and even into existing keys as a multi-use feature,” the VP said.

“With OEMs increasingly competing on innovative design – from sleek notebooks to 2-in-1 tablet convertibles – biometrics offers high performance and trust, as well as an opportunity to add even more value to premium products,” he concluded.

FPC was recently awarded a biometric card manufacturing patent in the US.

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