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The Latest Trends in Mobile Biometric Technology

Posted In Products Review, Technology Reviews - By Techtiplib on Friday, March 15th, 2013 With No Comments »

Smartphones are undeniably changing the way that the people communicate, conduct business and interact with the world around them. As smartphones continue to rise in popularity, they are also becoming treasure troves of sensitive business and personal information. This has created a growing concern over mobile security. From mobile anti-virus suites to multi-factor authentication, mobile security is evolving at an astounding rate. One of the biggest areas of growth in recent months has been mobile biometric technology.

New Developments

Biometric technologies have existed in numerous forms for decades. From finger print and retinal scanners to voice recognition systems, these systems offer an outstanding balance of security and convenience. However, they were slow to enter the mobile market. Perhaps one the largest boosts to mobile biometric technology lies in the integration of basic facial recognition in the recent Android Ice Cream Sandwich operating system. Though far from comprehensive, this feature introduced mobile biometrics to the general public. The Facelock technology is far from perfect and certainly not suitable for business or enterprise level security. However, it has increased awareness and acceptance of biometric technologies within the general public.

Better Integration

Another deterring factor to mobile biometric growth was simply a lack of integration and functionality for the average user. While there are bounties of biometrics benefits for business users, the average person simply had no real reason to integrate such a high-level of security into their device. With the introduction of near-field communication features in many of the latest mobile devices, this trend is quickly changing. From mobile payment services and membership club discounts to swapping files or accessing bank accounts, NFC is transforming smartphones into powerful payment solutions and improving the overall usefulness of devices. It is also opening another avenue of attack for malicious users and information thieves.

With these new-found capabilities, mobile biometrics is starting to gain popularity and attention in both the public and business sector. Projects and products are in development from a number of notable companies to help leverage the security benefits of biometrics for mobile devices. Fingerprint scanning technology is already available for iOS through a variety of devices. One such service, Tactivo by Precise Biometrics, also offers support for RFID tags and cards as well. Though support for Android devices is slightly lower, the recent shift in market share for the mobile operating system has drawn the attention of many biometric solution providers.

In the Enterprise

A rising trend in enterprise mobility and BYOD policies is also fueling the demand for high-quality mobile biometrics technologies. A recent survey by B2B International showed that only 11-percent of companies currently use a dedicated BYOD management system. However, over half of the surveyed IT professionals admitted that mobile device use was a threat to business security. One of the biggest issues in controlling this access, however, lies in the ability to uniformly secure and monitor device usage across the broad spectrum of devices available. By utilizing a small phone accessory, mobile biometrics solutions offer an easy to deploy and simple to use solution for many of these concerns.

Unfortunately, these solutions still limit options and require additional hardware. For mobile biometrics to truly gain acceptance, it will need to be a standard, integrated feature of smartphones. EveVerify, a recent US start up, hopes to provide the answer to many of these concerns. By utilizing the high-resolution cameras contained in many smartphones and tablets in conjunction with a simple smartphone application, EyeVerify can match a user’s ocular vein patterns to a verified copy stored on the device to provide quick, simple and secure biometrics services. Using the service is as simple as looking into the camera on your mobile device and shifting your eyes from right to left. Other solutions are also in development that uses fingerprint and palm-based identification without the need for an additional device or attachment.

The Future

As these services are released and refined, biometrics is likely to become an everyday part of mobile device usage. By eliminating the ability use brute-force attacks or other common methods of intrusion, mobile devices will gain a respectable boost to data security. In many ways, these security methods are even easier to utilize than current password or gesture-based security methods. This helps to increase interest in mobile biometrics while also allowing companies to integrate solutions into devices that match the rising trend in ease-of-use and speed. Combined with storage encryption and remote wipe capabilities, biometrics will drastically reduce the risk of information and identity theft due to the loss or theft of mobile devices.

Author Bio:

Robert Coulter is an author for Authentify, Inc.  Robert enjoys writing about ecommerce security and blogging about security.  In his free time he finds as much time as possible to spend with family and friends. 

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