user experience biometric privacy strong authentication

Great User Experience is Key to Adoption of New Technology

How do you get people to adopt new technology, especially when they are set in their ways? How do you change consumer behavior? To have a shot, you have to focus on the user experience and make sure the technology is working for people, rather than the reverse.

That’s what we learned when we did some recent user testing for our demo apps. We brought together a group of 16 people to test our software. They ranged in ages from 22-52, all with college degrees and professional jobs from non-profits to pharmaceutical research. The group had one commonality: They all hate passwords. Many had exposure to Apple’s Touch ID or the Android equivalent and opted to use it to unlock their phone or to log into their banking app.

The Obvious Choice for Strong Authentication

The leap from using your thumb to trying out our 4 Fingers TouchlessID wasn’t that large. The group intuitively understood why scanning four fingers was more secure than just one. The capture was fast and efficient. And, if scanning their hand meant the end of passwords or the end of tokens, count them in.

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One participant told us “I work at a financial services company and to log onto my computer, I need to enter my password – something I know – the code from my RSA token – something I have – and finally a separate PIN code. And if I forget my token, game over. I can’t work for the day, or I have to go home and get it.”

So we asked “Would you use biometrics instead? Would you use our solution?”

“I would switch to 4 Fingers in a heartbeat. I always have my phone with me, and it was easy to use.”

In a heartbeat. Easy to use. Those words were music to our ears. If you read this blog, or anything on our company website, you know we believe in what we are doing. We are passionate about ridding the world of passwords, PINs, and tokens. We believe that the biometric wave has started. In fact, Veridium was mentioned in Gartner’s report on Biometric Authentication Methods and adoption of biometric authentication is expected to grow at an astonishing rate – more than 66 percent year-over-year through 2020.

Companies are Already Wising Up to Biometrics

More and more companies are introducing biometrics to their employees, including the federal government, pharmaceutical companies, and financial services. Why? Because it’s simply more secure. If you rely on something you have – Tokens or PINs – well, they can be stolen or lost. It’s an inconvenience for the end user, not to mention the numerous calls to the help desk and overall productivity loss for the company.

These organizations know that passwords alone are not secure enough to protect their digital assets. Many are opting to use tokens as part of a two-factor authentication solution. While they are safer than passwords alone, they still leave security gaps in the enterprise. But some organizations have begun to dabble with biometrics. Take the participant doing pharmaceutical research. She is already using iris recognition to access secure areas of her workspace. She loves it but the technology is really, really expensive, so it can only be used in the most highly secured areas. The same is true for most biometric solutions that rely on hardware instead of software.

But What About Biometric Privacy?

The bottom line is people want an alternative to passwords. They liked our 4 Fingers technology and they especially liked the fact that we do not store their biometric vectors in one place. One person asked “What happens if my biometrics get stolen? I can always change my password, but I can’t change my fingerprints.” That’s why Veridium uses Visual Cryptography to break up and store your biometrics, partly on your phone and partly on the server.

Securing your biometrics is of the utmost importance. And we take that responsibility very seriously.

We believe as biometrics become mainstream you too will take securing your biometric vectors seriously. You may not have to worry that someone is going to poke out your eye to use it like in Demolition Man, but you do have to worry that a database can be broken into and your fingerprints can be stolen. Criminals are always looking to exploit new technology in anyway they can. Soon there may be malware on your phone that can access secure storage and grab your prints. Maybe it’s happening right now.

Your biometrics are your identity. Protect them at all cost. That’s what our solutions do.

We learned a lot from this group and we know we are on the right track. Stop back in September when we release our authentication app and whole new user interface.

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