Cyber Security - fingerprints providing an alternative to passwords

Cyber Security: Is the Password to be replaced by your Fingerprint?

Cyber Security - fingerprints providing an alternative to passwords

Fingerprint passwords might provide an authentication alternative to passwords, enhancing your cyber security. 

The recent Heartbleed flaw highlighted an oversight in regards to passwords and although the bug was an accident, rather than an attack, it still raises the question of what can we do next to secure our data?

The problems with passwords is all too evident – they’re too easy to steal! With one password you can access almost anything (most people use the same password for multiple sites), such as emails, bank accounts, or your Facebook account.

To combat this, the Fast IDentity Online (FIDO) Alliance  was formed in July 2012, with a mission to change ‘the nature of online authentication’ by reducing reliance on passwords. Made up of some of the biggest industry names, from eBay, to Google, and the Bank of America (I could go on), the weight behind the vision to provide a safe way forward for user authentication is overwhelming.

In February 2014 the group announced its first major product, a system that allows users to authenticate digital payments through PayPal, using a fingerprint reader on the new Samsung Galaxy S5 smartphone. Michael Barrett, President of FIDO stated that, “while this first deployment of FIDO Ready technology leverages a biometric – a simple swipe of a finger – we anticipate FIDO authentication to emerge in many forms and applications”.

The new authentication platform from PayPal and Samsung is available as of April, and in true hacker style the Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint sensor has already been hacked by a German team,  as reported in The Guardian. Paypal said in a statement to Android Community, that whilst it understood the hack, they were “confident that fingerprint authentication offers an easier and more secure way to pay on mobile devices than passwords or credit cards”.

My thoughts are that whatever technology gets launched, people will try and find a flaw. However, surely this is a step in the right direction for providing securer methods of authentication than passwords.

Let me know what you think below.

Voice recognition, iris scanners and fingerprints may still be in the early stages as an alternative to passwords, however there are steps that you can take to enhance your cyber security, whether it’s for your personal use or within your business. Why not learn more at the inaugural Cyber Security Briefing on 26th June in London. Click here to register your place and hear from industry experts.

Cyber Security Briefing 26th June

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