A digital security point of view for the digital business era

50 years of passwords — time to wave goodbye

25 Oct 2019

According to Gartner, 80 per cent of all data breaches start with a compromised password. The popular alternatives are face-, iris- and fingerprint-recognition, but these have all had their moments in the spotlight and each has been unable to adequately deliver on security, privacy and user resistance.
Passwords and usernames have long been the industry standard but here at Hitachi, we see constant reports of theft of passwords and we know the dark web is full of usernames and passwords for sale. Worryingly, online fraud is growing as the rewards far outweigh the risks of being caught.

So if usernames and passwords are not the answer, what comes next? Physical attributes and features must be the key, as they are hard to fake.

Biometrics are the solution but there are many modes, and they all have different merits and benefits. Most require specialist technology and devices, which has been the limiting factor in the mainstream adoption of many biometrics. Users are still battling with implementing two-factor tokens, let alone something larger and more expensive.

For biometrics to become mainstream, we need the key data to be captured and matched via a standard phone, laptop or web camera, and be device agnostic. That way the user can be authenticated on demand and prove their identity easily. Our research has shown that a person’s vein patterns are highly complex and unique. Utilising an ambient light spectrum to highlight the vein pattern within your fingers, our technology can biometrically authenticate who you are.

With the launch of Hitachi’s latest technology in September, there is now an option of using a normal laptop or webcam to verify the user’s identity. This diverse capability provides a cost effective and efficient method of ensuring the identity of the person with this finger vein scanning technology significantly reducing the ability for fraudsters to copy and steal identities.

Finger vein technology is amongst the most accurate and highly secure authentication and validation solutions on the market. Many of the world’s largest financial services, retail and central government organisations already use the technology to protect employees and customers from the on-going threat of identity theft and fraud.