Mobile Biometrics; Security of the Future?

Mobile Security Problems

smart phone

Mobility is synonymous with convenience. In a contemporary mobile world, individuals and consumers are fast-tracking everything using smart technology, including finances. Mobile devices offer apps for easy payment, bank transfers, and quick transactions making the process of purchasing something nearly effortless. A mobile world creates a multitude of mobile problems and fraud has exploded recently as the mobile movement facilitates those looking to steal PINs, passwords, and credentials.

Over an 18 month period from 2012 through 2013, in the United States alone, it is estimated that 280 million passwords were stolen. More startlingly approximately 94% of stolen passwords or identifications go unreported. Strong passwords are lengthy and difficult to enter while four digit PIN numbers are easily hacked. This will create a demand and pressure for the evolution of security technology, and create an opportunity for an investor with foresight to take advantage of a high risk opportunity to capitalize on the birth of a new industry and niche.

Biometric Security Technology

The new niche that is coalescing within the security industry is biometric security. Utilizing one-of-a-kind passwords such as fingerprints, the veins in the iris of your eye, or vocal verification provides a password that can’t be faked. The protection offered by biometric keys and passwords is threefold: they prevent fraudulent transactions, they protect account numbers, and they protect from malware downloads. The promise of these three highly effective preventative measures fuel biometric security entrepreneurs.

Biometric security is by no means a safe bet. There are potential problems and hurdles to a biometric security system. The first problem is the inability for users to just change the password. You cannot change your personal biometric password should it be stolen in any capacity. Another problem is the data storage for biometric information. If this information is stored in a data ‘cloud’ it becomes especially vulnerable to being hacked online. Finally, biometric data will fall short on some consumers’ demands for instant-transactions as it will add another step to the conclusion of a transaction.

Developments in Biometric Technology

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An example of biometric technology under investment is the Dongle ID created by Jerome Svigals, the pioneer and guru behind IBM’s magnetic stripe technology resent in all bank card transactions. The Dongle ID is a separate security key that will prompt the user to provide a thumbprint upon the execution of a transaction to a bank account. Once authorized by thumbprint, the transaction will carry through. However, it requires two devices: the smart phone and thumbprint ‘key’ and will force another step for a consumer to carry-out while making a purchase.

Layered Security: Biometrics and Geotagging

Finally, a promising solution worth investigating for investment potential is the combination of biometric security keys with geotagging smart devices. To carry out a transaction a consumer would have to both be tagged biometrically and geographically in the same location. This would be effective for multiple reasons. First, if the geotagging device and biometric device were reported on a single smart phone, such as the new iPhone 5S that features a fingerprint scanner, “TouchID,” than fraudulent transactions would be easy to detect. Finally, the combination of geotagging into the data ‘cloud’ where biometric keys are store would serve to increase the security of that data cloud from being hacked; there would be an additional layer of security combination to penetrate.

Hackers and digital pirates are always less than a half-step behind new security products and systems. The risk involved is the same for any online security enterprise. Yet for a prospective investor who does not mind a degree of risk, the biometric security framework could become a staple in supermarkets across the country.

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