In the United Kingdom, identity fraud levies costs of over five billion pounds each year, with approximately three million falling victim to the crime. Today, customers are insisting upon further biometric systems to be used by businesses; biometric checks would improve security during customer on-boarding and limit risk to business and client alike.
How smartphones can aid us: ECGs in biometric verification
Many of us use our smartphones daily, for various reasons, often straying from the classic phone call. These devices accommodate our social networking, online shopping, online banking and even healthcare. All this sensitive information in our devices, and in the cloud, can be a major data security concern. Having a four-digit password is not enough protection. Even biometric systems such as fingerprint scanners have disadvantages against falsified information.
Electrocardiograms (or ECGs) record the heart’s electrical activity. These signals are unique to every individual and highly challenging to replicate. These factors are reasons why ECGs have been studied for biometric systems. If you were to see an ECG test administered in a clinic or hospital, you would see 12 lead sensors. For this test to work on our phones, small biosensors are integrated into the hardware for real-time monitoring, so that ECG data can be available. In recent years, algorithms have been in development.
Keystroke biometrics: simple in theory, not the most accurate in action
The threat of your confidential data being hacked grows alongside the development of technologies and software systems. Passwords can be relatively easily hacked, but they can be combined with biometric tools to increase security. Safeguard mechanisms do not necessarily have to be more complicated than this. Keystroke biometrics, which is behavioural in nature, can prevent unauthorised access even if the password is known by the intruder. The user’s habitual typing rhythm is difficult to mimic, and rather impossible to guess, because even the same four keys can be typed differently by two individuals. Accuracy is highly important. Nonetheless, keystroke authentication is not necessarily comparable to other more advanced authentication methods.
How can biometric verification make our lives easier?
Biometric verification can help us in a rather frustrating, yet common area: travel. Airports have been growing increasingly congested during past years, though the COVID-19 pandemic has reduced crowds by a landslide. New and efficient processes have been sought out. In fact, in the US, at John F. Kennedy airport, facial recognition technology has been used by customs to make passenger check-in a faster, easier process. In locations such as this, complex encryption methods protect travellers’ biometric data against hacks.
We can also examine other areas of travel. Identity verification is extremely important for cruise lines that cross national borders. With hundreds to thousands of people boarding these vessels, there need to be effective and secure identity checks, that are not time consuming. Taking on a similar biometric process as airports are beginning to, could be the solution. Yet, all advances must be made with caution.