Why biometrics are key to solving video conferencing’s security challenges
By Ram Pemmaraju, CTO of StrikeForce Technologies
Throughout the past year the very nature of work has quickly evolved before our eyes, fundamentally changing the way companies communicate with their employees. Now the business world is seeing a huge uptick in the demand for new types of technologies that can enable secure communication and continuous collaboration.
But with this new demand comes new cybersecurity challenges, such as the steady increase in cyber crimes, ransomware attacks, and Zoom bomb incidents. Many organizations are now going through an accelerated period of digital transformation and are struggling to keep up with operational security.
Businesses, schools and government agencies now rely heavily on video conferencing services like Zoom, MS Teams, GoToMeeting, and others, all of whom have consistently proven to have security issues; most of these issues have to do with access control or lack of a common authentication system. As video conferencing becomes more embedded into our work lives, some of these problems could be solved by implementing more biometric security features into these widely used collaboration tools.
While biometrics was always a technology of the future, it’s now becoming a critical component in providing strong authentication in everyday communications. As the business world continues to adapt post-pandemic, being able to maintain a continuously secure online environment in order to prevent sensitive data and IP from being exposed will be critical. Having communications that are built around strong multi-factor authentication and embedded with advanced biometric capabilities should be a top priority.
Smartphones and biometrics
Previous biometric technology use cases were very prohibitive and not cheap, and what changed everything in the industry was the arrival of the smartphone, which has defined our modern definition of biometrics as a way of enhancing security and personal data privacy.
But while biometrics have been available on smartphones for a while, they are increasingly being integrated into mobile devices with more advanced fingerprint, facial recognition, and iris scanning capabilities. The market for biometric technologies is exploding, estimated to reach $77B by 2027, and many business sectors including banking, government, healthcare, are more closely looking to integrate biometric securities into their everyday operations.
And as phones become more powerful, biometrics will continue to be a staple for the mobile device industry, serving a number of different functions to keep users’ files, apps, and private data secure. These types of biometric innovations will help businesses reduce costs and provide much deeper levels of security than before.
The growth of video conferencing
In today’s landscape, businesses have needed to completely overhaul and rethink how they approach cybersecurity and data protection, particularly with nearly every company in the world relying on virtual communications to some degree. In the past, video conferencing was mostly relegated to special circumstances, but fast forward to 2021, and these platforms are a central part of doing business.
Yet many of these video conferencing tools have proven to be vulnerable, reaching a point where early last year the government issued warnings to businesses and consumers about the inherent risks of sharing data and information across platforms and unsecure networks. Now U.S. legislators are even taking it a step further and publicly issuing concerns around the safety and security risks presented by Zoom and others.
In this new medium, many experts believe that biometrics security protection and password options are an extremely important component. Soon we’ll see much higher usage and emphasis from businesses around the importance of biometrics in keeping communications secure for remote employees.
The business world’s push to integrate biometric security tech
As businesses start to welcome back employees to their office environments, it’s still very clear that the hybrid remote work dynamic is here to stay. Video conferencing platforms have kept many sectors of the business world afloat during COVID, but they will also continue to be susceptible targets for data breaches, hackers and phishing attacks.
To succeed in the future, organizations should implement strong multifactor security strategies, including the latest types of biometric authentication solutions to ensure users are who they say they are. As biometric technologies continue to evolve, consumers will become much more accustomed to unlocking devices on their phone through things like iris scanning and facial recognition.
We’ll also see new two-factor biometric authenticators coming into play, including the ability to understand phrasing, handwriting, and specific ways people type. Biometrics will provide more anti-spoof mechanisms to ensure verification that there’s an actual human entity, and soon these technologies will be a cornerstone of nearly every business’s security strategy.
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