What do you need to consider to improve biometric authentication success in your enterprise?
The first is to recognize what biometric authentication success could mean for your enterprise’s digital security.
While it differs from person to person, on average a user will have 130 accounts connected to a single email addresses—a number expected to grow as more of our daily lives and business transactions become digitized. The proliferation of accounts translates to a proliferation of required passwords. By extension, it invites a lot of the problems passwords generate.
Security experts have long decried passwords as easy to guess, to crack, or to simply steal. According to password management solution provider LastPass, 59% of users may try to secure their accounts with repeated and easy-to-remember passwords. Just as often, they use the same password for all of their accounts. Worse, these passwords are often among the most easily guessed or cracked—“123456” or “password” being two examples.
These aren’t just challenges for users. Users are inevitably also employees. Enterprises need to take note of the issue, as their own accounts could be protected by a repeated or weak password. Following this logic, an easily guessed password or a repeated password could be stolen from another enterprise or database and thus create a security vulnerability. A hacker could easily exploit this hole to reach your sensitive databases or proprietary assets.
You could mandate employees use stronger passwords; indeed, some users try to use stronger passwords for their accounts. However, users frequently forget intricate or complicated passwords. This can cause no end of frustration, eating up valuable work hours as they work to retrieve them (much to the stress and chagrin of your IT help desk). It may also push them to pick an easier password in the future, thus creating the security issues described above.
Biometric authentication success, as either part of a well-implemented two-factor or multifactor authentication process deployment, can help alleviate the perils of a password-oriented identity security system.
But biometric authentication is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Biometric authentication success requires careful implementation, constant reevaluation, and modification to fit your individual enterprise’s business processes and employee habits. There are two major obstacles your enterprise needs to consider before deploying biometrics.
The first great obstacle to biometric authentication success in your enterprise is the storage of your biometric data. After all, once it is scanned into the system, it becomes digitized information stored just like any other digitized information. While no biometric authentication information has yet been stolen and used in a data breach, the keyword is “yet.”
Who has access to your digitized biometric authentication? Where is it stored in your network? How can it be accessed? Is it stored on your network or in your solution provider’s network? Answering these questions is vital to ensuring biometric authentication success. Further, you should ensure that your biometric sensors require a living presence during the authentication process so that digitized biometric data cannot be used against you.
The second is to recognize biometric authentication may not be necessary to secure every layer of your network or for every database. Much like two-factor and multifactor authentication, biometric authentication is perhaps best used to secure the most sensitive data rather than for every employee or for general entry into the network. Having a layered approach to your identity security is a solid way to ensure biometric authentication success as well as your cybersecurity success overall.
Biometric authentication success is an achievable goal for your enterprise. But it requires careful consideration and solid implementation. Cybersecurity is a marathon, not a sprint. Make sure you are prepared.