In security, we’re always looking for ways to make our layers of protection stronger. As attackers leverage increasingly sophisticated techniques, we look to do the same with our technologies.
It’s no surprise, then, that biometrics are very much the buzzword of today’s cyber security professionals. According to research specialists Grand View Research, the global biometrics market will be worth $59.31 billion USD by 2025 – a considerable leap for an industry that was only worth $10.41 billion USD back in 2015.
But – even if we work on the assumption that biometrics offer a stronger form of protection than passwords – that’s only part of what makes security effective. Here’s why.
User confidence is the secret to good security
Ask any IT manager – the biggest challenge isn’t finding security that works. It’s getting users to follow your processes and make good use of the protection you’re providing.
Take passwords as just one example. A complex, hard-to-guess password remains a powerful way to limit access to systems, networks, and confidential data. But reports indicate that as many as 10% of users choose one of just 25 common passwords – including the surprisingly common ‘123456’, still used by around 3% of people.
It’s a multi-layered challenge with several root causes, including:
- Security fatigue caused by the need to juggle dozens of passwords for different accounts and services
- The generation gap and a workforce that mixes people who are comfortable with technology and those who are distrusting of common systems
- Pressure to perform – without letting restrictive systems and security features slow down productivity
Cyber security is only as effective as it is trusted. And that means that, no matter how sophisticated your new implementation might be, it’s all for nothing unless you find a way to build confidence.
IT security can’t be intrusive
Businesses often come up against resistance when new technology intrudes on established ways of working. Intruding on privacy and even body parts is a difficult sell.
Biometrics is still growing and rudimentary thumb, voice, face and eye identification is just the start. Future focuses include sensors that are implanted, injected and swallowed, as well as electronic ‘skin’ that adds an always-on layer of communication to human bodies.
In theory, each of these innovations is incredibly exciting. In practice? It’s an extreme level of intrusion that few users are likely to tolerate any time soon.
There’s no such thing as biometrics on a budget
Finally, effective cyber security has to make good business sense. Investments need to deliver a real return, add real value, and come with a level of impact that matches their cost.
While new technologies like biometrics are becoming more affordable in response to growing demand, there’s an awfully long way to go before the average small business can get reliable recognition for faces and voices. Biometrics is such a fundamentally new form of security that, for many, the costs of implementation and management are just too big to burden.
The right cyber security strikes an important balance
In a climate of wearable technology, machine learning, and unparalleled innovation, it’s easy to lose track of one universal truth: the simplest answer is often the best one.
So, while big businesses are beginning to look at biometrics no matter the cost – in terms of money and privacy alike – we think there’s an easier way to achieve good security sooner.
Solutions like Stormshield Data Security Solution take the proven technology of two-factor authentication and optimise it. Making it faster, more intuitive, and easier to manage, with integration into existing systems and protection that goes wherever your users do.
Because while the world’s innovators are creating a cyber security revolution, the rest of us can still improve our posture as established technologies continue to evolve.