86% of Americans want to use biometric security to verify their identity or to authorize payments — Are PINs and passwords becoming a thing of the past?
Biometric Security Becomes Mainstream
Since Apple first introduced Touch ID in 2013, the global market for mobile biometrics has grown to over $14 billion. Today, 57% of apps feature a biometric login option
Fingerprint scanners: 63%
Facial recognition: 14%
Passwords and PINS: 8%
Consumers use mobile device biometrics for Payments: 48% have authenticated a payment with biometrics
Top payment app platforms belong to –
- Apple Pay
- Google Pay
- Square Cash
63% want to use biometrics to authorize payments when shopping in brick-and-mortar stores.
Unlocking: 80% use biometrics to unlock their mobile devices
- iPhones – 68%
- Android – 25%
- Laptops – 12%
- Tablets – 11%
Banking: 42% won’t use banking apps that lack biometric authentication
Why Use Biometrics?
70% of Americans say biometrics are easier to use; Nearly half think biometrics are more secure!
Are biometrics really better than traditional security?
Biometric Security: Beyond PINs and Passwords
What Is Biometric Security?
Biometric security uses physical and behavioral markers to identify authorized users and detect impostors
- Facial recognition
- Retinal scans
- Voice recognition
- Behavioral identifiers
- Device usage patterns (location and time)
- How a phone is tilted when it is held
- Frequency of checking social media accounts
- Finger movements and gestures
Hollywood Makes Hacking Biometrics Look Easy
Diamonds Are Forever (1971): Sean Connery uses a fake fingerprint to fool a scanner
Sneakers (1992): Robert Redford hacks Voice recognition with a tape of the passphrase
Gattaca (1997): Ethan Hawke bypasses a DNA scan with a drop of blood
What Makes Biometrics Tough To Hack?
– Much more time than hacking passwords
– Difficult to attempt without being noticed
– Creating a fake requires large amounts of user data
– Biometric tech isn’t standardized, each device requires a unique approach
Can Biometrics Be Faked?
Masks: Bkav, a Vietnamese Cybersecurity firm, cracked Apple’s Face ID using a mask made with a 3D printer, silicone and paper tape
Fingerprints: The Samsung Galaxy S10 features a new ultrasonic fingerprint sensor — meant to be harder to hack. The sensor is easily fooled by 3D printed fingerprint
Family: Siblings, a mother and son, and even distant cousins have been able to unlock each others’ iPhone using Face ID
How It Works:
After a failed Face ID, iPhones ask the user to enter a passcode. If the code is entered correctly, the phone scans the user’s face to improve its recognition model
The Flaw: If someone knows your passcode and has similar features, Face ID may eventually identify them as you. Biometric sensors might be harder to hack, but they’re not perfect
Getting The Most Out Of Biometric Security
Know the limits of biometrics
Models of physical identifiers could be leaked from a security system. Once leaked, these identifiers can’t be changed like a password
Use two-step authentication
Pair biometrics and a PIN or password for tighter security. Or, require 2 physical identifiers to make it harder to spoof
Keep an eye on your device
Biometrics can’t secure your phone if you leave it unlocked and unsupervised. Once you’ve unlocked your device, tailgaters can swoop in and gain access
Choose the best tech
Look for features that can’t be fooled by a photograph or 3D print
– Liveness detection
Don’t be lulled into a false sense of security — Biometric security isn’t foolproof