Securing sensitive information is a major challenge of the digital age. A 2014 study of U.S.-based companies found that over the average cost of cyber crime climbed by more than 9% to $12.7 million in 2014, up from 11.6 million just one year before. The average time to resolve a cyber attack is also rising, climbing to 45 days, from 32 days in the previous year. As the number of serious data breaches mounts, businesses and governments are all searching for the strongest defense against intrusion.
Biometrics offer that strong defense, providing protection against both outside hackers and insider attacks. By requiring a certain confirmation of identity for system access – the physical presence of an authorized user, rather than the submission of transferrable knowledge or credentials – biometrics are the best way to protect against data breach caused by regular system users. Tracing malicious activity to a confirmed user is also made easier through biometrics – any sort of plausible deniability fades away when system administrators can tie an individual to actions on the network.
In the case of an outside hack, biometrics can help to minimize damage by walling off internal sections of IT systems. Requiring biometric identity confirmation allows system managers to contain the actions of hackers, reducing their ability to access complete data sets.
Biometrically enabled cyber defense systems also enhance security and increase convenience by eliminating the inherent security weaknesses of passwords and PIN numbers. Using a biometric indicator for system access makes logging onto a computers as easy as looking into a camera, swiping your finger over a sensor, or speaking.
To learn more about the use of biometrics as a cybersecurity method, consult the National Institute of Standards and Technology report, “Biometric Specifications for Identity Verification” here.