ABSTRACT

This is the second of a three-part blog series that presents an overview of our cloud-based, integrated access control, threat mitigation, and security management platform. In our first blog, we examined the importance of the Circle of Zero Trust and what makes the CyberCyte platform unique in helping organisations protect their digital assets. In this blog, we present how biometrics provides several advantages over password-based access systems while also making end-user password administration much easier.

Biometrics: Taking Authentication Beyond Passwords to Provide Robust Access Controls

Biometrics holds the key for information security teams looking to bolster their security measures. In comparison to password-based authentication, biometrics offers much greater identification validation and access control capabilities to ensure networks, systems, devices, applications and databases are accessed only by legitimate, authorised uses.

By identifying the unique characteristics of individual people, biometrics thus offers organisations a great way to expand their solution sets, ensuring authorised users can access their business resources through approved mobile devices, desktops, applications, and virtual private networks.

In addition to the security benefits of making end-user credentials impossible to steal or share, biometrics makes things a lot easier for IT from an operational perspective while reducing the cost of technical support as there’s no need to reset forgotten passwords to re-authorize end-users.

The State of Biometrics in Business Operations

Specific unique characteristics that biometrics can verify include facial recognition, retina scans, and finger/palm prints. These characteristics are unique to each individual and distinguish each person from everyone else.

Many end users have already grown accustomed to biometrics, such as using facial recognition to unlock their mobile devices and fingerprint scanners to facilitate store purchases and bank transactions. In the healthcare space, biometrics can be used in hospitals to monitor patients while governing access control, identification, and patient record storage.

Biometrics is also in use at some airports, which use palm prints and retina scans to allow passengers to bypass the initial ticket and identification check-in stations. There’s also use of biometrics in law enforcement, such as border security control environments and police stations where potential suspects can be properly identified.

In the business world, biometrics is also gaining momentum. Gartner predicts that by 2021, 70% of organisations using biometric authentication for workforce access will implement it via smartphone apps, regardless of the endpoint device being used. In 2018, that figure was fewer than 5%.

The Role of Biometrics in Information Security

Biometrics can play a key role in information security as the technology mitigates access-related risks far better than password-based systems. The data cannot be copied and is spyware proof. Biometrics also cannot be shared with other users, and it can’t be stolen—as is the case with passwords. It’s literally impossible for unauthorised users to use the biometric data of another user.

In addition, biometrics data cannot be forgotten by end users. And verification occurs much faster than it does with passwords. Both of these attributes make end-users very happy.

When managing a biometrics solution, the data must be accurately collected. It should also be securely stored and transmitted to ensure systems recognize authorised end users. Encryption and other security measures must also be used to protect biometrics databases so cybercriminals cannot gain access. These security measures are critical; end users can change passwords if compromised, but they can’t change their biometrics should that data be stolen.

Biometrics in Action

Many organisations across the globe have successfully deployed biometrics solutions. The Social Security Institution in Turkey uses biometric authentication to prevent health abuse and irregularities in data. More than one hundred million Turkish citizens have been authenticated, and the system operates at 99.999% uptime. It’s one of the largest biometric authentication systems in the

The Power of Connecting Biometrics to the Larger Access Control Program

The BioCyte biometrics solution from CyberCyte provides palm scan, finger-print  and facial recognition. The solution can enable identity tokenization by storing end-user biometric information on access cards rather than servers running in their data centre for protecting biometric data.

When integrated with other access control processes, including traditional Network Access Control (NAC) systems, a centralised security platform from CyberCyte ensures only legitimate and non-compromised users, devices and apps can access the things they are supposed to—at the right time and from the right location according to an organization’s appropriate use and information security policies. Together, BioCyte and NetCyte offer a powerful combination for protecting digital assets.