When it comes to safeguarding your online transactions, you have various options at your disposal. You can use a password manager, an advanced security software program, or even rely on two-factor identification. But what if you want something more advanced? Have you ever considered using biometrics?
What are biometrics?
Biometrics, or identifying someone based on their physical features such as fingerprints or iris patterns, is an alternative to passwords when conducting sensitive transactions.
The financial sector has a vested interest in conducting online transactions securely, so it’s no surprise that companies in this sector are at the forefront of using advanced security solutions. This does not mean that even banks are at the cutting edge, but they are certainly better off than the average. According to PricewaterhouseCoopers, the age of biometric identification is slowly approaching; the firm does not yet see these identification methods (for example, fingerprinting) competent of replacing today’s methods, but it does see this situation changing in the short term.
The biggest problem, according to PwC, is not the level of security but the fact that, unlike the username/password pair, this is severe personal data, the handling, and storage of which is subject to much stricter regulation. The requirements vary from country to country, but in general, the mere recording and storage of this type of identifier are subject to authorization. This is not a coincidence, of course, since one of the conditions for issuing a license is that the data must be adequately protected; if, for example, it becomes common knowledge that we will be able to do a lot of things with our fingerprints, then fraudsters could get their hands on not only our money but our whole lives by obtaining the fingerprint. They can get into your home, start your car, log into your computer, etc. This is what makes the data unique, so you have to be careful not only that hackers can’t get it but also that bank employees can’t get it.
The problem is that because it is very valuable information, fraudsters will go to much more extraordinary lengths to get it, and protection is essential. Once a fingerprint is stolen, it cannot simply be replaced later!
Experts believe that biometric identifiers will become an increasingly integral part of identity management in the future. And it’s not just financial institutions that are using this technology; social media has also jumped on board, with Facebook confirming that their experiment with facial recognition to identify users is currently live.