It’s something you see in cartoons and science fiction movies – a character goes into a secured area and either their hand or eye is scanned to grant them access. In real life, that practice is called biometrics, or the use of personal traits such as fingerprints, hand scans, eye scans or vocal patterns to authenticate one’s identity.
As our recent consumer survey shows, the current use of login and password combinations for authentication is flimsy at best and leaves businesses and consumers open to security risks. But what other options are there? Jennifer Waters of MarketWatch recently pointed to biometrics as the next step in security in “Can palm scans replace ATM cards?”
According to Waters, a growing number of financial institutions, businesses and medical facilities are investigating using biometrics as a security measure. Even the government is investing heavily in it, with a $1 billion investment into a system called Next Generation Identification that will expand biometric databases. According to Frost and Sullivan, the biometrics use in civil and military applications will grow by an annual rate of 14 percent until 2019.
While some types of biometrics, such as hand or eye scans, require you to be present, voice biometric technologies offer a more remote option. Services like CSID’s VoiceVerified can take a one-time vocal print and compare it to your voice every time you call, ensuring it is actually you on the phone. By verifying your identity with features that cannot be replicated, biometrics help stop identity thieves in their tracks.