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Visa research on biometric security - comment from Webroot

January 2015 by Webroot

New research from Visa stated that nearly half of people aged 16 to 24 foresee the end of passwords and pin numbers by 2020 as biometric security takes over. The research also revealed that 76 percent feel comfortable with the concept of making payments using biometric data.

With ‘generation Z’ appearing to be so open to adopting biometric identification, we asked Roy Tobin, Threat Researcher at Webroot what his thought were:

“It’s no surprise that nearly half of 16-24 year olds can see biometrics taking over from passwords and PIN numbers – it’s quick, convenient and there’s less room for error. It’s moved from a futuristic method of entry in films, to becoming common place in a variety of smartphones. But the use of biometrics as a sole level of protection is just not enough. You can change a password as often as you like, but your fingerprint generally remains the same for life.

“This combined with sheer amount of prints the average individual leaves behind means that this data can relatively easily be compromised. There are a deluge of issues around data protection; who can access these fingerprints and how that data can be used are all real concerns. Add in the fact that the iPhone fingerprint scanner was hacked less than 2 days after its release, doesn’t restore faith in this type of verification. With so many high-profile data breaches in 2014, we should not be looking for the simplest form of access, but the most secure. Two-stage authentication with a strong password is the ideal security option.”

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