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8/12/2014
03:25 PM
Marilyn Cohodas
Marilyn Cohodas
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6 Biometric Factors That Are Working Today

From fingerprints to wearable ECG monitors, there are real options in the market that may relegate the despised password to the dustbin of history.
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Google "I hate passwords" and you'll get 3.25 million results. If that isn’t unshakeable evidence that the world is desperate for a better solution, then I will tear up all those sticky notes pasted on my laptop.

What’s the alternative? I’m putting my money on biometrics.

Yes, biometrics have been touted for a long time. But in recent years, the technology has overcome some major hurdles --  among them cost, ease of use, and access -- paving the way for some very interesting possibilities in authentication solutions that will (hopefully) relegate the despised password to the dustbin of history.

Like any security technology, there is no perfect solution. But one thing is for sure, biometrics are no longer a futuristic fantasy. There are real solutions that are working today with even more on the horizon. Let’s take a look.

 

Marilyn has been covering technology for business, government, and consumer audiences for over 20 years. Prior to joining UBM, Marilyn worked for nine years as editorial director at TechTarget Inc., where she launched six Websites for IT managers and administrators supporting ...
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Sara Peters
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Sara Peters,
User Rank: Author
8/12/2014 | 3:53:37 PM
correct me if I'm wrong
Cool stuff, Marilyn. I just wanted to verify: in order for palm vein scanners to work, the blood needs to be flowing, right? Therefore an attacker wouldn't be able to authenticate if they chopped off the legitimate user's hand. Right? 
Marilyn Cohodas
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Marilyn Cohodas,
User Rank: Strategist
8/12/2014 | 3:57:59 PM
Re: correct me if I'm wrong
You've stumped me on that one Sara! (pun intended)... I'm #scratchingmyhead tryng to envision the scenario you've just described. Interesting plot for a horror flick though!
Sara Peters
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Sara Peters,
User Rank: Author
8/12/2014 | 4:05:35 PM
Re: correct me if I'm wrong
Check it out: http://www.biometricnewsportal.com/palm_biometrics.asp "In addition, the sensor of the palm vein device can only recognize the pattern if the deoxidized hemoglobin is actively flowing within the individual's veins." In other words, the blood's got to be flowing.

And Marilyn this whole chopping fingers off to use fingerprint scanners isn't just my own gruesome brainchild. It happened in Malaysia years ago: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/4396831.stm

Luckily, some fingerprint scanners -- like the one on the new iphone -- only work if the finger is attached to a live body, because they detect the electricity emitted by a person's living body. http://www.webpronews.com/no-you-cant-use-a-disembodied-finger-to-get-past-the-iphone-5s-fingerprint-scanner-2013-09
Marilyn Cohodas
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Marilyn Cohodas,
User Rank: Strategist
8/12/2014 | 4:08:29 PM
Re: correct me if I'm wrong
Truth is indeed stranger than fiction! thx for the gory details. 
Sara Peters
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Sara Peters,
User Rank: Author
8/12/2014 | 4:10:36 PM
Re: correct me if I'm wrong
If I ever have a car that requires a palm vein scanner, I'll make sure I have the appropriate literature to hand to thieves when they think about taking my hand with them, and leaving me behind.
Marilyn Cohodas
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Marilyn Cohodas,
User Rank: Strategist
8/12/2014 | 4:12:20 PM
Re: correct me if I'm wrong
good plan. Just print out this blog and message thread and put it in your wallet near your driver's license and credit cards. 
GonzSTL
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GonzSTL,
User Rank: Ninja
8/12/2014 | 4:21:54 PM
Re: correct me if I'm wrong
The ultimate solution - unique DNA identification. Think Gattaca.
Kelly Jackson Higgins
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Kelly Jackson Higgins,
User Rank: Strategist
8/12/2014 | 5:24:19 PM
Re: correct me if I'm wrong
I'm waiting for that eyeball scanner. So done with passwords.
Dr.T
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Dr.T,
User Rank: Ninja
8/12/2014 | 6:14:32 PM
Re: correct me if I'm wrong
DNA is not a bad idea that can identify the individual uniquely. The main problem for those types of solutions is the fact that we do not want to be identified uniquely for a simple reason such as logining a system.
Robert McDougal
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Robert McDougal,
User Rank: Ninja
8/16/2014 | 10:16:55 AM
Re: correct me if I'm wrong
If we use DNA, what about twins?
Robert McDougal
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Robert McDougal,
User Rank: Ninja
8/16/2014 | 10:15:37 AM
Re: correct me if I'm wrong
Call me Mr. Sci-Fi but I would like to see authentication based on a persons unique electrical field.  Walk up to a device it detects the faint electrical field surrounding you and grants you access.
Marilyn Cohodas
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Marilyn Cohodas,
User Rank: Strategist
8/18/2014 | 7:33:44 AM
Re: correct me if I'm wrong
Isn't that how Cardiac Rhythm works? That sounds like a pretty cool and promising biometric, although it sounds like it would require a wearable bracelet of some sort, which some people might find intrustive. (sigh)  No perfect solution. But we can't let perfect be the enemy of good!
Robert McDougal
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Robert McDougal,
User Rank: Ninja
8/18/2014 | 8:10:49 AM
Re: correct me if I'm wrong
CardicRythm is pretty close, but you are right it requires that "intrusive" wearable bracelet.  I am hoping for sensors so sensitive they can detect the minute electrical fields surrounding us all.

Yeah, I am a big nerd.....
Dr.T
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Dr.T,
User Rank: Ninja
8/12/2014 | 6:18:09 PM
Re: correct me if I'm wrong
I would think fingerprint scanners have vulnerabilities, it would not be difficult to replicate it and simulate the electricity of live body.
Marilyn Cohodas
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Marilyn Cohodas,
User Rank: Strategist
8/14/2014 | 11:33:02 AM
Re: correct me if I'm wrong
No security is fool proof, but I'm guessing it would be easier to guess (or hack) a password  a password than replicate a fingerprint. 
bpaddock
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bpaddock,
User Rank: Strategist
8/15/2014 | 12:46:06 PM
Re: correct me if I'm wrong
For a short time period cars sold in Japan had fingerprint scanners in place of the door locks.  That technology rapidly went back to keys when thugs started cutting off fingers to steal the cars.

Show me a biometric scanner, such as one based on the eye, that will authenticate you after you've been hit in the face by an airbag in a car accident.  Airbags are *not* big fluffy pillows when you are going 50+ MPH.  How happy will you be that you can't call your family for help because your phone things they injured you, is not you?

 

 

 
bpaddock
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bpaddock,
User Rank: Strategist
8/15/2014 | 12:46:16 PM
Re: correct me if I'm wrong
For a short time period cars sold in Japan had fingerprint scanners in place of the door locks.  That technology rapidly went back to keys when thugs started cutting off fingers to steal the cars.

Show me a biometric scanner, such as one based on the eye, that will authenticate you after you've been hit in the face by an airbag in a car accident.  Airbags are *not* big fluffy pillows when you are going 50+ MPH.  How happy will you be that you can't call your family for help because your phone things they injured you, is not you?

 

 

 
Robert McDougal
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Robert McDougal,
User Rank: Ninja
8/16/2014 | 10:20:02 AM
Re: correct me if I'm wrong
Call me paranoid, but I don't like fingerprint authentication.  It could be because of all of those James Bond movies but I see my fingerprint as a liability.

Let's say that someone wants to authenticate as me.  They follow me to starbucks where I proceed to buy an Venti White Mocha =), which I consume in the store.  I throw my empty container in the trash and leave.  The attacke walks over to the trash pulls out my empty container and now they have my fingerprint.
MarilynCoh
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MarilynCoh,
User Rank: Apprentice
8/16/2014 | 1:02:54 PM
Re: correct me if I'm wrong
Ok. I concede that there is a lot of skepticism about fingerprints -- legitimate or not. But what about some of the other types? Eye, Palm, behavioral? Does any one agree with me that some type of biometric is preferable to passwords?
Bprince
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Bprince,
User Rank: Ninja
8/27/2014 | 12:14:47 AM
Re: correct me if I'm wrong
I still believe in the good old fashion password, but I would like to see retina scanners used. Not like Minority Report exactly, but I think as an authentication measure I find it fascinating. 

BP
Marilyn Cohodas
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Marilyn Cohodas,
User Rank: Strategist
8/27/2014 | 7:09:31 AM
Re: correct me if I'm wrong
It could be a combo of the "good old fashioned" password with a biometric for a while. But I still believe the future is with biometrics... especially as these factors become more common and accepted. 
Kelly Jackson Higgins
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Kelly Jackson Higgins,
User Rank: Strategist
8/12/2014 | 5:41:04 PM
Re: correct me if I'm wrong
I'm going to have nightmares about that one. =)
Dr.T
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Dr.T,
User Rank: Ninja
8/12/2014 | 6:10:44 PM
Username / password old school
Thank you for sharing this article. Very informative. Username / password for credentialing will become old school very soon. We are already using picture password and two factor authentication more and more in critical systems. I am looking for those days that we can make authentication more easier for end users.
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