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February 5, 2014

30% of organisations to adopt biometric authentication for mobile devices

IT security leaders have been advised to adopt and assess their biometric authentication methods and passwords.

By CBR Staff Writer

About 30% of organisations are projected to adopt biometric authentication technologies to secure corporate data and mobile devices by 2016, a new Gartner report has revealed.

The report said that the move would lead to the increase in data management policies due to the growing trend of bring your own device (BYOD) in many businesses.

Gartner VP Ant Allan said: "Security leaders must manage users’ expectations and take into account the user experience without comprising security.

The research firm also suggests IT security leaders to adopt and assess biometric authentication methods where ‘higher-assurance’ authentication is needed, used together with passwords.

Some organisations must try to respond to the risks from a lost or stolen mobile device by implementing controls that lock a device after a limited number of wrong password entries.

"This practise does not wholly mitigate the risk because solid-state memory is nearly impossible to overwrite," Girard added.

"The best practise is to use encryption that is not tied to the primary power-on authentication, meaning the key cannot be recovered from the device after a soft wipe operation has been performed."

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Organisations are also advised to explore authentication modes including voice recognition, face topography, interface interactivity and iris structure to boost improve security without user behaviour impact.

Gartner VP and distinguished analyst John Girard said: "However, even a six-character lowercase alphanumeric password can provide billions of values.

"For most practical purposes, hackers are not prepared to pursue this large a set of combinations due to the relatively slow speeds involved in brute force attacks against smartphones and tablets."

Another recent report from Ericsson revealed that about 74% of global mobile users expect biometric smartphones to be in use this year.

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