Security Market Segment LS
Thursday, 18 January 2018 11:46

Facial biometrics to go mainstream for security in 2018: Ping

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Facial biometrics to go mainstream for security in 2018: Ping Image courtesy of Sira Anamwong at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Authentication with facial recognition will take off this year, according to identity defined security company Ping, which says that advances in biometrics, the mass exposure of personally identifiable information from numerous data breaches, and a blockchain craze will take hold in 2018.

“With rampant data breaches in 2017 targeting victims from consumers and enterprises to politicians and nation states, the protection of personally identifiable information has never been more important,” said Patrick Harding, chief technology officer, Ping Identity.

“While new threats will continue to emerge, 2018 looks promising for advancements and innovation in cyber security.”

According to Ping, facial biometrics will go mainstream this year, with multi-factor authentication already drastically enhanced with the addition of biometrics like fingerprint sensors in devices.

“However, with the introduction of Apple’s iPhone X with the FaceID feature in 2017, facial biometrics officially stole the spotlight. Android is already planning to adopt to widely into its ecosystem. Ping Identity expects authentication with facial recognition will take off this year,” Ping says.

Beyond facial biometrics going mainstream, Ping Identity’s other cyber security predictions for 2018 are:

The death of knowledge-based authentication and rise of identity proofing alternatives

Knowledge-based authentication — a known fact that grants access to an account, e.g. “your first pet’s name” — is arguably the weakest authentication method. This information is as easy to find today on social media as a phone number. To replace knowledge-based authentication experiences, expect to see services such as “photograph your physical ID” thrive in 2018.

A zero-login reality

This is the year where the authentication ceremony starts to blur a bit. As zero-login technologies start to gel, continuous authentication based on passive factors will become more pervasive, leading to a strange phenomenon where users are, in fact, being authenticated more often, but challenged less often.

Identities built on blockchain

Last year was a defining one for crypto currencies, with a market value increase of more than 2700%. Crypto currencies are based on blockchain technologies, and the millions of individuals currently invested in the crypto market with a crypto wallet have their own blockchain identities. Identities are all based on public keys, while the private keys are managed by the crypto wallets. In 2018, we will see these blockchain identities being used for non-crypto identity-related uses.

More cyber attacks targeting multi-factor authentication methods

As effective as multi-factor authentication is at curbing opportunistic attacks, a determined and persistent hacker cannot always be stumped. Now that MFA has become a normalised part of identity protection, expect bad actors to harvest metadata about the types of additional factors associated to a given account – in order to begin to mount opportunistic automated multi-factor attacks across multiple sites.


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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham - retired in 2020. He is a veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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