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Biometric authentication use in US businesses tripled over 3 years to tackle cyber threats

Thales survey shows firms’ confidence in remote work’s security tools
Biometric authentication use in US businesses tripled over 3 years to tackle cyber threats
 

The use of biometric authentication in U.S. businesses has almost tripled from 27 percent in 2019 to 79 percent in 2022, suggests a new report by software expert GetApp.

The substantial increase comes amid a surge of cyber threats, with the same report suggesting ransomware attacks have nearly doubled in the forecast period, alongside the percentage of employees clicking on phishing links, which went up 88 percent.

To tackle these threats, companies are investing substantially in two-factor authentication (2FA) or multi-factor authentication (MFA). In fact, the new data shows that the majority (92 percent) of businesses in the U.S. this year used 2FA for at least some of their business applications. However, not all of these solutions are effective defensive tools.

In fact, according to the GetApp report, criminals are getting more creative in their phishing techniques, managing to evade various 2FA measures that rely on SMS or smartphone prompts to accept authorization requests.

Instead, GetApp says companies should consider deploying hardware keys (e.g., those from Yubico) or biometric authentication as a second factor, which is deemed substantially safer in defending against phishing and other cyber threats.

The new figures by GetApp also showcase increased attacks against the healthcare industry, particularly ransomware. Additionally, the report suggests that several healthcare providers have opened themselves up to attack by adding new connected devices to remotely collect biometric patient data without proper security protections in place.

Case in point, the GetApp 2022 Healthcare Security Survey found that 57 percent of practices use remote patient monitoring tools or wearables to collect patient biometric data, but only 41 percent had a cybersecurity incident response plan in place in the event of an attack.

The data comes months after a separate report by Transparency Market Research suggested the global healthcare market for biometrics will reach a value of $74.08 billion by 2028.

Thales’ survey shows industry’s confidence in remote work security

Despite these growing threats, however, 84 percent of IT professionals said in a recent Thales survey they had some degree of confidence in their user access security systems to enable remote work securely and easily, up from 56 percent in 2021.

The same report also suggested  only 31 percent of IT professionals surveyed reported having ‘very high’ concerns about the security risks and threats of remote work in 2022, down from 39 percent in 2021. Those who said they were ‘somewhat concerned,’ on the other hand, increased from 43 percent to 48 percent in 2022.

“The past few years have cemented remote work and work-from-anywhere as a permanent part of the security landscape, and they have also introduced new security risks and challenges,” comments Francois Lasnier, Thales vice president of access management solutions.

“However, growing familiarity with remote work has ultimately broadened awareness on an enterprise level of daily business security risks and has strengthened both confidence and ability in security teams and products to handle those risks and threats properly.”

The Thales report also seems to confirm the GetApp trends in regard to MFA, with adoption of these solutions for internal and non-IT staff witnessing an increase to 40 percent compared to 34 percent in 2021.

The document’s publication comes weeks after Thales appointed Emily Tan as chief executive for Singapore.

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