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Security in 2015: Biometrics

Kate O'Flaherty

SC Magazine

3 November 2014

PA’s Justin Hughes, identity management expert, is quoted in an article on biometrics in 2015, in SC Magazine.

The article addresses various sophisticated biometric technologies and how far they have come as well as the risks they pose. Regardless of the risks, biometric technology is seen as a vital technology to enterprises.

Justin explains that biometric technologies such as fingerprint recognition can form part of a multi-layered security strategy, as long as it is in addition to other security measures: “Biometrics is going through the classic technology curve: it’s getting faster and systems are becoming cheaper.”

Justin goes on to agree that biometric technology is not currently secure enough on its own and explains that technology aptly fits the last part of the three-tiered strategy that should form ID management: “Something you have, something that you know, and something that you are.”

The article goes on to explain that as sophistication increases, biometric technology will become more widespread and that more complex biometrics will become the technology of the future. 

Justin explains that several technologies will even start detecting ‘liveness’: “So they will detect something like a pulse or iris dilating,” he says. “That’s not fool proof – we have spoofed this ourselves,” he warns.

Many organisations are now looking to multi-modal biometrics due to concerns about biometrics’ reliability. Justin explains that these rely on not just one, but a few biometrics. “The industry consensus is that two percent of people do not have a usable biometric fingerprint. So people have twinned that with a secondary biometric – the iris,” he says.

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