Benefits of Biometric Authentication
By Vasyl Mylko
In today's increasingly digital workforce, data security is an essential requirement for every business. In fact, in a recent study, 55% of c-level executives said security is their top concern in regards to digital transformation. At the same time, security technologies such as passwords and badges are weakening, forcing companies to adapt to a disruptive world by implementing new security alternatives. But how can companies simultaneously keep data safe while still allowing their employees access to locations and information-especially without using a password or a badge?
Biometrics has been an increasingly relevant topic of research for this very problem over last two decades. Numerous physiological technologies are available for automatic verification of a person's identity. Biometric data can be acquired from a fingerprint, iris, retina, voice, and more. The uniqueness provided by biometric data is inherited from the inimitability of DNA. At present, fingerprints and irises are the biometric authenticators used most commonly, but perhaps the most underutilized authenticator is the electrocardiogram, or ECG.
ECG Authentication Explained
In the current era of digital disruption, secure authentication is becoming one of the main requirements for any industry. Organizations, having a large amount of sensitive information, usually manage access to it through password policies. Employees need to change standard passwords on a regular basis as these may either expire or be forgotten. These circumstances lead to extra costs and priceless time spent, as additional services have to be involved in sorting everything out. This not only requires a lot of time and effort but is not always effective as well. Because of this, companies are beginning the wide adoption of invisible interfaces. As machines are getting smarter, companies are forced to deploy type, click, speech, and touch to their security verification tools.
Physiological characteristics of the body-and ECG signals in particular-are promising when talking about simplifying the processes of improving security. ECG biometrical authentication use heart rate to unlock secure assets the same way a password would. The ECG sensor tracks electrical signals from the user's heart activity and transmits them to connected mobile devices. It serves as a means of authentication and, when necessary, can even monitor health signals and fatigue.
Benefits of ECG Analysis
Verification based on ECG analysis has a number of benefits compared to traditional authentication methods such as passwords, security cards, and fingerprints.
While each is easy to use, considering they are all based on physiological data, the ECG verification method has the unique benefit of being able to monitor the user's physical wellbeing. One of the main components of ECG is heartbeat monitoring, which helps enterprises verify whether the user is a) living and b) healthy enough to perform the functions of his or her role.
Emotions can also influence our heart rates, and ECG analysis takes this into account. If a person is experiencing a drastic change in emotion, as reflected in comparison to their normal heart rate, this could be an indicator there is an issue with the user's health or security.
Another benefit to ECG analysis is its method of continuous data streaming, versus one-time events such as entering passwords or simple fingerprint recognition. Individuals' ECG is nearly impossible to imitate or fake by an emulation or a combinatory guess. With this in mind, applying the ECG authentication method makes data harder to steal.
ECG analysis is also extremely reliable, as this biometric authentication system will not only protect sensitive data and various corporate assets from theft, but also creates greater security capabilities by making the process more robust. The system can be customized to meet the security needs of any business or end-user, including secure payment processing, locking doors, mobile devices, and more. This makes ECG practical for everyday use.
What's more, according to Forbes, the borders between authentication and the personalization of services, applications, and devices are blurring, and personalization is considered among many to be the next frontier in digital marketing and customer experience. With biometric readings, it is possible to evolve from personalization to individualization, meaning an even better experience for the user.
ECG In the Field
As vehicle technology advances, so too must the security systems and processes that protect the lives of drivers and vehicle operators. Factors such as theft, fatigue, and poor health may cause significant risk when operating vehicles and, if these factors arise, both the driver and the company can be affected.
SoftServe, a global digital services and software development company, recently unveiled BioLock, an ECG biosensor analysis system that was one of five finalist at the 2017 SXSW Interactive Innovation Awards in the "Smart Cities" category.
BioLock is the world's first ECG biosensor analysis system to proactively monitors the health of drivers while preventing theft. BioLock sensors can be used to check whether the right person is accessing the vehicle as well as monitor a person's vitals for health purposes. The smart system ensures device-to-device communication between ECG biosensors embedded into a vehicle's steering wheel and mobile devices to recognize and monitor users with a simple touch.
Enabling employees to focus on their tasks at hand instead of ever-changing passwords can enormously improve both productivity and security, and consumers and enterprises both appear comfortable with the idea that a person's own body can be a more reliable security method than some kind of proxy, whether that is a password or a security card. The automotive industry is already incorporating ECG as a security measure, and because its unique benefits and difficulty to mimic, we believe ECG authentication will continue to gain in popularity.