"Good is the enemy of great" - Jim Collins.
When you look back on society's greatest advancements, how many were achieved by following the status quo? When you recall the most monumental awe-inspiring individual feats of all time, did those individuals achieve them by doing what everyone else was doing? As a culture, we see progress as a result of striving to do things better - even if that means going against the grain. While settling for good may be easier and more comfortable, it is the ultimate barrier to progress and significant improvement.
In the world of cybersecurity today, we are unfortunately seeing a gross over-acceptance of the adage, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it." While there is merit to the saying in certain scenarios, it does not apply for those in cybersecurity: traditional authentication is failing us. The shift away from password-based authentication has been a step in the right direction, but solutions like tokens and device-based methods are still insufficient to protect against modern cyber threats.
Interested in hearing what we're doing to move beyond 'good'? Keep reading to learn about the biometric multi-factor authentication solution unlike any other: Identity-Bound Biometrics.
What is Identity-Bound Biometrics?
Identity-Bound Biometrics (IBB) is a category of biometrics that puts the only true constant in cybersecurity - people - at the center of its architecture. IBB creates a unique, non-reversible biometric identity that can be used to verify the person, anywhere. In comparison, where traditional MFA solutions verify a device, hardware tokens, or credentials, IBB adds a layer of security by verifying the actual identity of the person taking action (I.e. logging into a system, completing a transaction, accessing private information).
Identity-Bound Biometrics surpasses traditional authentication solutions in three key areas:
Security, Integrity & Privacy
IBB establishes trust and accountability rooted in a person's biometric identity so organizations can be assured of genuine presence and audit with full transparency. You also avoid the risks associated with traditional authentication methods, such as hacking or sharing passwords, or having a physical token misplaced or stolen. With Identity-Bound Biometrics, the person is the credential to facilitate the authentication process.
You may be wondering, "how is the biometric data kept secure?" This is a valid question to ask, and something that we prioritized from the beginning. The IBB architecture is designed to ensure your privacy and integrity:
- Biometric data privacy is ensured through non-reversible, cryptographic hashing and salting to render the information inaccessible and unusable for potential bad actors.
- Built-in liveness detection provides strong Presentation Attack Detection (PAD) by imposters trying to use scanned pictures or fakes.
- Patented technology & world-class algorithm gives only approved users access to protected information.
Flexibility & Ease of Use
Many traditional authentication methods are not designed with the user experience in mind because doing so would create significant security risks - and businesses see the impact. Low user or employee adoption when implementing MFA is one of the biggest challenges organizations face. It may be too cumbersome to use or may not offer an MFA solution that fits different preferences.
When it comes to your business, administrators and employees alike will experience the flexibility first-hand:
- One-time enrollment quickly sets up access across multiple devices and locations. Administrators can enable users to easily access systems, regardless of where they are, what time it is and what devices they are using with multiple authentication methods to choose from.
- Inherent cloud-readiness allows for deployment via public or private cloud.
- Using PortalGuard Desktop, IBB supports multi-factor authentication even when a user is offline.
Cost & Efficiency
IT departments are routinely plagued by unnecessary overhead, typically due to a lack of resources or the need to purchase additional equipment required to support their security solution. With Identity-Bound Biometrics, you can deploy passwordless authentication without needing phones or tokens. In turn, easy implementation and minimal maintenance offer a low total cost of ownership for small to large-scale deployments. The pricing is straightforward, making it easy to achieve measurable ROI in 90 days or less - no worrying about hidden or unexpected costs.
What Are the Best Use Cases for IBB?
Many employees and third parties carry out their daily operations across multiple locations and through shared workstations. You can quickly implement IBB with station-based fingerprint scanners and one-time enrollment for users. This eliminates the need for users to carry around individual tokens or phones to verify their identity and have a consistent user experience everywhere they need access.
Customer IAM (CIAM)
While traditional IAM plays a vital role in every enterprise, it often leaves behind a critical group of stakeholders: the customers. Large-scale deployments like online banking are expensive and require unique considerations, and a sub-par authentication method can directly impact your organization's revenue. IBB offers a seamless experience with strong customer authentication.
Passwordless is the goal for most organizations as they look to deprecate passwords and their risks. Yet many organizations are moving to passwordless authentication that simply relies on something the user has, only verifying their device or a token. IBB removes the friction and major pain points of passwords and replaces them with methods that verify "who you are." With a simple fingerprint scan for example the user can be logged in and continue their workflow.
Since COVID, there's been a 114% increase in remote work, and nearly 25% of those issued a work device reported using it for non-work purposes, making it hard for IT departments to protect against breaches and determine legitimate users. Biometric authentication with IBB verifies the person, whether on-premises or remote, so you can have confidence that only authorized people are gaining access to systems and data regardless of where they are requesting access from.
The Zero Trust approach trusts no one and treats every person and every device as a potential threat. Implementing multi-factor authentication (MFA) is one of the core steps to implementing Zero Trust - and there is no stronger method than IBB to verify a user's identity and establish trust with the person completing the action.
Taking the Next Step with Identity-Bound Biometrics
Having multi-factor authentication in place is becoming commonplace across industries. While this is a critical step to improving your cybersecurity, companies are settling for 'good enough' when deploying traditional MFA. These traditional systems are 'good enough' at keeping critical data safe against unsophisticated cyber-attack attempts, but as the threats become more and more complex, 'good enough' won't cut it. The SolarWinds breach, for example, is the most sophisticated and large-scale data breach in US history, which circumvented the traditional MFA that was in place. Only after the damage is done do most realize that stronger security measures are needed.
The best way to avoid becoming a victim of a cyber-attack? Establish trust between people - the only constant in cybersecurity. Identity-Bound Biometrics does exactly that to provide the highest levels of accountability, transparency, and security - without needing to cut corners to reduce costs.
If you're interested in learning more about IBB and how you can utilize it, download the Identity-Bound Biometrics Datasheet. Alternatively, we encourage you to reach out directly if you'd like to speak to our team to discuss your personalized needs.