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Survey: Biometric Authentication on Trajectory for Mass Adoption by 2020

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According to a survey of 500 North American and European IT professionals by cloud computing and SaaS vendor Spiceworks, 62% of enterprises already use biometric authentication and 24% plan to adopt it within two years. While only 10% of professionals believe that biometrics alone are secure enough to protect their enterprises, 90% of enterprises are on track to adopt it as part of a multifactor authentication scheme.  

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The majority of enterprises, nearly half of those surveyed, use biometric authentication via smartphone scanners. Only a quarter use it to allow access to employee laptops, and less than a quarter on tablets. This suggests that biometrics will be paired with the bring-your-own-devices corporate culture model seeing simultaneous widespread adoption across the United States.

Fingerprints are still the most popular form of biometric authentication with 57% approval, followed distantly by facial recognition at 14%. Even though there is clearly some form of professional optimism concerning biometric authentication adoption, 65% of IT professionals worry that there is a lack of transparency on the potential vulnerabilities of a biometric-based authentication system. Nearly the same percentage—63%—say there isn’t enough information on how vendors collect biometric data from their clients. Less than a quarter of those surveyed believe biometrics will replace traditional passwords in the next few years.  

In a statement, Peter Tsai—senior analyst at Spiceworks—said: “Unless technology vendors can address the security issues and privacy concerns associated with biometrics, the technology will likely be used side-by-side in the workplace with traditional passwords or as a secondary authentication factor for the foreseeable future.”

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