Biometric Security for Mobile Devices: An Enormous Opportunity

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One of the biggest requirement of the technology today is mitigating the risk of a security breach. Protecting customer’s data is of utmost important, and the same is possible to achieve by implementing few of the most innovative technological solutions.

Because there are a lot of mobile users nowadays, the threat of data security is also very high. Therefore, the traditional methods of individual authentication are no more efficient.

Now when we talk of the high-end security, we are bound to think of biometric technology. Reason being the fascination amongst the people with the sheer idea of biometric security where the early 21st century films serve as a testament to this fact.

Let us take one of the most amazing examples from the films such as – Minority Report, iRobot, and even James Bond’s Skyfall. The common biometric thread in these films is the biometric PPK gun which won’t fire if not held by the licensed killer. It hints at the biometrically secured future where the human DNA shall intrinsically get a link with their digital identity.

The trends in the biometric security are reflecting a huge upwardly graph. According to the report, Biometrics for the finance applications, revenue for the global biometrics finance market grows at a CAGR of 38% from a base of $126 million in 2015 to reach $2.2 billion by 2024. Moreover, evaluating the scope of the same, the report suggests that the global biometric market is expected to have a cumulative revenue shooting more than $11.5Bn. over a decade.

Enterprises are emphasising on incorporating biometric security to preserve the safety of their user’s crucial data. Even the private industries and governments across the globe are looking forward to the mobile biometrics for speeding up the human identification process. Also, as per Gartner Report, 30% of the organisations are expected to use the Biometric Authentication for the mobile devices by the end of 2016.

There is a wide scope of mobile security as the trend suggests the fact that biometric activities for the human identification do not always take place in the controlled office environment. Mobile devices, along with the mobile applications are coming up with the latest biometric security features.

The industry reach of biometric technology is also expanding with the advent of various biometric-enabled devices.


Few of the most common mobile biometric techniques include;

Fingerprint and Thumbprint: A device’s display screen is used to analyse the thumbprints and not merely relying on the peripheral device.

Iris Recognition: Iris recognition is a little more complex biometric technique which involves shining a light in the eyes to capture the pattern of the iris which combines with the retina colour to match every time for the authentication.

Voice recognition: About the finance industry, the biometric voice recognition technology enables the bank customers to integrate an added layer of protection in the form of their voice for bank accounts.

Biometrics for the Banking Security:

The implementation of these biometric techniques is already doing wonders being a security gateway for the mobile payment method.

For example, Apple’s Touch ID technology is used by many banks by implementing the fingerprint technology to authorise payments on smartphones. Most often biometric security acts as an add-on security layer over and above banking’s digital security gateways.

Biometrics for the retail and consumer market:

The security needs should always rise above the username and password combination. Because passwords are easy to hack with the social engineering method using personal information shared on social media and neither the PINs are unique; there are 20 most common combinations which represent over 18% of in-use four-digit passwords.

The scope of mobile devices to contribute for the biometric authentications is extended when we think of integrating scent sensor in the mobile devices for the body odour detection. One research suggests that capturing body odour can be as easy because merely passing by the sensor would be less intrusive than the already existing fingerprint readers or iris scanners.

The biometric-driven security when blends with the smart credentials on the mobile can supplant passwords and hardware tokens while at the same time enables the physical security devices such as access cards, keys, and passports

Microsoft and Intel are implementing the biometric authentication system to protect the user credentials as smartphones turn into the biometric devices for authentication. Plenty of mobile devices support the biometric authentication methods.

Looking at the biometric future ahead, one can expect a major change in the form of biometric-friendly ergonomics in mobile devices and mobile apps for the biometric security. The contribution of security vendors is also necessary for collaborating for conceptualization and developing security solutions that solely focuses on blending the best attributes of each. It shall result in a secure, convenient and cost-effective biometric security solutions continue to grow exponentially.

Like every other story, even the biometric authentication has a couple of downsides. The major concern is using the biometric authentication merely as a password or passkey equivalent and not as a proof-of-identity to blend with a password or PIN for a more complex and layered authentication.

One of the Japanese cryptographers, Tsutomu Matsumoto successfully fooled a fingerprint security systems using a ‘gummy finger’  made directly from the target some years ago. Not only this, but researchers revealed that even Apple’s TouchID is easy to fool using fake fingerprints and an another proof-of-concept (POC). While some smartphone users also complained about the high false acceptance rates.

Gauging the level of security convenience and intricacy associated with the Biometric security, it is safe to say that the trend shall continue. Currently, the momentum is sustained in the conceivability of mobile-based authentication as a universal security method over the course of coming decade.


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