Passwords, a Thing of the Past - Why Biometrics Are the New Security Standard

December 4, 2023

Biometrics provide distinct advantages over passwords in terms of security, convenience, and user experience. But why exactly are biometrics more secure? And can we trust them over a complex password?

The Vulnerabilities of Password-Based Authentication

Passwords have long been the most popular way of authentication for decades, but they are not without flaws. They are vulnerable to cyber dangers due to password repetition and difficulty remembering complex combinations. Not to mention some people just don’t come up with very complex passwords. According to a study by Verizon, 81% of data breaches occur due to weak or reused passwords.

Even more shocking is that only 45% of the people who’d been hacked changed their password afterward. This troubling figure emphasizes the critical need for a more secure authentication method that is less reliant on the user taking action.

Individuals frequently establish passwords that might be weak, predictable, or reused across several accounts, rendering them vulnerable to brute-force attacks and credential stuffing.

Passwords are readily forgotten, prompting users to write them down or store them insecurely, jeopardizing their security even further. Biometrics eliminates this risk by delivering a seamless and painless authentication process based on an individual's intrinsic traits.

Passwords can be intercepted or stolen during transmission, and they can also be stored in susceptible databases. Biometric data, on the other hand, can be securely stored within the device, decreasing the possibility of illegal access.

The Advantages of Biometric Authentication

We’ve mentioned the major concerns around using passwords. Let’s see how biometrics can solve these problems. Biometrics offer a reliable and secure alternative to passwords, providing several key advantages:

  1. Difficulty to Replicate: Because biometric features are unique to each individual, they are extremely secure. Biometrics, as opposed to passwords, cannot be easily copied, ensuring a strong authentication mechanism.
  2. Enhanced User Experience: Users no longer need to remember complex passwords or go through the inconvenience of inputting them repeatedly with biometric authentication. Individuals can easily authenticate themselves by exploiting their unique biological attributes, such as fingerprints or facial features, resulting in a seamless and fast security process.
  3. Improved Security: When compared to passwords, biometric authentication adds an extra layer of protection. Because biometric data is difficult to falsify or manipulate, the risk of illegal access is reduced. Furthermore, biometrics can provide continuous authentication, continually confirming the user's identity throughout a session, boosting security even further.

Real-World Examples

Biometric authentication has been used by prominent technology companies such as Google and Apple, who recognize its potential to transform security. Google Passkeys, as well as Apple's integration of Face ID and Touch ID, illustrate the industry's shift toward biometrics as the new norm. These examples demonstrate the widespread use of biometric authentication and its growing importance in protecting sensitive data.

This biometric technique is consistent with the Fast Identity Online (FIDO) Alliance standards, which are supported by over 250 firms, including Microsoft and Google. By implementing passkeys and biometric authentication, these firms are paving the way for a more secure and convenient authentication solution, laying the groundwork for wider adoption across the modern enterprise.

Passwordless system deployment and implementation are becoming increasingly crucial. Now is an excellent time for firms to investigate passkey technology, comprehend its application, and assess the top vendors on the market.

Can Small Businesses Also Transition to Biometrics Like Apple and Google?

While biometric authentication offers numerous benefits, small businesses may face challenges during the transition to a biometric security strategy. It is essential to consider the following factors to overcome these challenges:

  1. Implementation and Integration: Small firms must evaluate their current infrastructure to determine the viability of using biometric authentication. This could include upgrading hardware and software systems as well as assuring compatibility with existing processes.
  2. Employee Training and Acceptance: To facilitate a smooth transition to biometric authentication, proper training, and instruction are required. To adopt this new strategy, employees must first grasp the benefits, usage, and security measures involved with biometrics.
  3. Privacy and Regulatory Compliance: The collection and storage of biometric data presents privacy and regulatory compliance concerns. To protect biometric information, small enterprises must follow data protection rules and install strong security measures.

The transition from standard passwords to passkeys and biometric authentication is gaining traction, pushed by corporate titans such as Apple, Microsoft, and Google. These businesses know passwords' limitations and risks and are actively striving toward a password-free future.

As the shortcomings of passwords become more apparent, biometrics emerge as the new security standard. Biometric authentication improves security, convenience, and user experience while reducing the dangers associated with traditional password-based systems.

Small organizations should investigate biometric authentication proactively, understanding the methods, obstacles, and considerations required to properly use this novel security strategy. Businesses may strengthen their cybersecurity defenses and protect sensitive data in an increasingly digital world by embracing biometrics.