Forgetting a password, resetting it, and then having to think up yet another unique string of characters is an experience we all know too well. Passwords make for a tedious user experience in the name of security. But do they actually protect us? The escalating number of breaches would suggest not, and even two-step verification processes, such as a text message with an extra code, don’t entirely mitigate the concern around password hacks.
It’s no surprise then, that businesses are increasingly looking to biometrics to replace passwords and bolster security. Fingerprint readers, eye scanners, and voice recognition tools provide a more secure alternative, being much harder to manipulate by hackers. And, they have the added benefits of being speedy, seamless, and easy for the user.
But overhauling passwords might not be that simple. Engineers will need to take into account the vastly different preferences, and levels of comfort users will have. Those concerned about their privacy might not be happy using their fingerprint to log in to an app, while many customers might still want to use their passwords in some circumstances. Designers will need to figure out how they can offer an alternative without leaving a security gap.
Why does this matter for businesses?
- Biometric authentication methods are one alternative to remembering passwords. From a security engineering perspective, it makes sense to adopt them. However, companies should not forget user preferences in their move to biometrics: some users might prefer passwords or are unwilling to provide their voice, fingerprint, or retina scan for privacy reasons.