How Biometrics Are Taking Online Security to the Next Level?


When it comes to online security, there’s no question that passwords are problematic. However well-constructed they are, it will always be possible for cybercriminals to crack them. And, with people today having to remember an average of 100 different passwords across different applications, it is hard to keep track of them all. As a result, many of us tend to use the same passwords again and again. But this puts our online security at risk.

Luckily, a new solution has been increasingly deployed: biometrics. Until relatively recently, this technology was the stuff of Bond movies, where access to secret establishments was allowed or denied through fingerprint scans or other personal identification. But these days, most smartphones use this as a security feature, as do many other apps where confidentiality is a priority.

However, flaws in the currently-used systems are coming to light – and have been for some time now. For example, there was a famous incident in 2017 aboard a Qatar Airlines flight in which a woman unlocked her sleeping husband’s phone using his fingerprint and discovered several things he would have preferred to keep to himself.

But this isn’t the only flawed area. When it comes to simple face recognition, it has also been found that, in certain circumstances, a photograph of an individual can trick the system. Meanwhile, voice recognition technology is far from being infallible either.

There is obviously a need for more sophisticated biometric identification, as well as it being of interest to more sectors than ever before. One example is the online casino industry. Already, it does a great deal to ensure its security. But when Bonusfinder published an evaluation of the leading online casinos in New Jersey, it listed a considerable amount of personal data required to register – but no biometrics. As these casinos keep user information secure without this feature, it begs the question of how necessary it is. However, with players depositing and withdrawing money (in many ways like a bank), an additional layer of super-security would surely be welcomed.

This sector in particular is known for its innovative approach to tech. So, perhaps we can expect to see it adopting some of the next generations of solutions that are currently in various stages of development.

my retinaMy retina.” (CC BY 2.0) by astrangelyisolatedplace

These developing technologies include the identification and mapping of vein structures in different parts of a person’s body. This could be the retina, a hand, or even a single finger. The patterns that these body parts form are as unique as a fingerprint, and it would be far harder to “cheat” the system using them.

Another interesting area of research is that of behavioral biometrics, which is currently being carried out by organizations like Biocatch. This technology would examine the unique way in which each person interacts with their devices, covering everything from typing speed to the way they hold their phones. Said to be potentially far more accurate than physical biometrical identification, this technology is also set to be a real game-changer.

Hopefully, increasingly sophisticated methods are on their way to keep us a step ahead of online fraudsters. That said, common sense and caution are always going to be our most effective first line of defense.

Jennifer Thomas
Jennifer Thomas is the Co-founder and Chief Business Development Officer at Cybers Guards. Prior to that, She was responsible for leading its Cyber Security Practice and Cyber Security Operations Center, which provided managed security services.