Technology is a beautiful thing. It can make life more convenient by allowing people to push a button and get something good — a ride home, a vacation rental, or dinner.
It’s also a powerful tool that can improve safety and security in ways not possible before.But as the fears of private information in the hands of others rise, how can we put these fears at ease?
Here are a few technologies bettering security and how you can keep yourself from becoming a security statistic.
Since Apple introduced incredibly usable biometric authentication with its home button fingerprint sensor in 2013, the appetite for biometrics has expanded rapidly. Now Google’s newAbacus Projectplans to monitor your speech patterns, as well as how you walk and type, to confirm that it’s really you on the other end of the smartphone.
Other apps are looking atthe uniqueness of vascular patterns in the eyesor even a person’sspecific gaitto verify identities.
In February 2016, Dutch bank ABN AMRO became one of the first companies in a worldwide pilot by MasterCard to embrace these new technologies. The test brought forth exemplary results. In fact, 95 percent of the fingerprint users and 80 percent of the facial recognition users indicated shopping became more convenient using biometric authentication.
It was also perceived more secure, a win-win for both customer and bank.
Pros: The biggest benefit of using a biometric device for authentication purposes is the ease of use that it offers. Fingerprint scanners are extremely affordable and are fairly easy to use. You can compare the fingerprints among millions of records that can be contained in a computer database. The results can be instantaneous depending on the amount of records that you are comparing the fingerprints to.
As such, Biometric technology makes identity fraud less likely. It’s much more difficult to fraud a biometric device than to steal an employee identification card.
Cons: Unlike passwords, biometrics such as face mapping, fingerprints and iris scans can’t be changed when a databasegets popped. Worse, data sold to marketers or gobbled up into an authoritarian database isn’t reversible.
Research on biometric tech has amped up, leading to mobile apps that read various unique-to-you body parts to help verify your identity, raising all kinds of security and privacy concerns, and it’s still an open question as to how government and manufacturers are going to address it all.
Since there’s no one size fits all solution, tailoring to specific contexts and situations is highly necessary.
Protect yourself: Current regulations such asSarbanes-Oxley(SOX), theHealth Insurance Portability and Accountability Act(HIPAA) andGramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA -General Data Protection Regulation) and, last but not least, PSD2 (payment service directive) require security and access controls for customer and employee data – but not necessarily for authentication credentials.
There are three criteria for securing biometric data. First, it should be gathered on a secure device that only passes data to your system, without storing it. Second, like any other authentication credentials, it should be transmitted with encryption and never in clear or plain text. Third, it should be stored and encrypted in a secure directory service, such as AD or LDAP.
Ah the selfie. Cliche but somewhat effective – if you’re trying to look good on your college ID. But is it really good for security?
While the technology isn’t going to replace the password or pin with selfies, there has been advances and uses for it in recent years.
Aimed towards millennials, MasterCard begantesting a new facial recognition authentication system for online payments in 2015, allowing users to scan their faces to approve payments.