The Death of Flawed Password Protection: How Multifactor Authentication Brings Biometrics to Business

Fingerprints, iris scanners, and facial recognition technology can all help to boost your IT security.

A number of high profile hacks in recent years have shown just how easy it is for hackers to breach networks using compromised username and password details. Stolen or weak passwords were used in a massive 81% of hacking-related data breaches in 2016, according to research from Verizon*1.

Not only does this put company and customer data at risk, it could also result in major financial loss for the affected business. Password-only protection is no defence against today’s cybercriminals, and that’s why it’s essential to reduce the risks by embracing multifactor authentication.

Put simply, multifactor authentication is a combination of something you know, something you are, something you have and someplace you are. For example, something you know could be a password or PIN, something you are can be a biometric element such as a fingerprint, something you have could be a smartphone and someplace you are can be the location of your PC.

The move away from simple passwords has been going on for some time. While eight-character passwords that change every 90 days worked well a decade ago, increasingly sophisticated hacking techniques mean there is a need for stronger protection. In May, Intel celebrated World Password Day to encourage people to protect their logins with multifactor authentication. And while it’s important for individuals to protect their online security, it’s just as important, if not more so, for businesses to put similar guards in place.

“Combining one interactive, active factor with one or more of the passive factors makes it super convenient for the user. It’s actually a lot more convenient than using a password”

“Combining one interactive, active factor with one or more of the passive factors makes it super convenient for the user,” says Rasheed. “It’s actually a lot more convenient than using a password.”

As security compliance standards evolve, businesses must update and future-proof their systems to ensure the safety of their data. No security setup is entirely hack-proof, but giving up passwords in favour of multifactor authentication is the wise option for any business in the digital era.

*Other names and brands may be claimed as the property of others

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Product and Performance Information

1 The 2016 Data Breach Investigations Report by Verizon: http://www.verizonenterprise.com/verizon-insights-lab/dbir/