Meeting the security versus convenience challenge

In this guest blog post our VP Sales, Fredrik Sjöholm discusses using biometrics and smart technology to enhance security and convenience across a range of connected devices and applications to achieve an acceptable balance of strong security with great user experience.

It’s very encouraging that consumers are already accepting biometrics and that these are in fact preferred over passwords. In my last blog I mentioned that reassuring consumers about security will be an important element for the successful adoption of biometric smart cards. In my view, education about security is certainly going to be a continuing focus for the biometrics industry.

As we start to see similar platforms that we use in smart cards being widened out to other products such as connected devices like smart door locks, wearables and cars, the industry is facing additional challenges; to enabling a high level of convenience. It is no longer a matter of using biometrics for unlocking a personal device, such as a smartphone.

Consumers are used to the convenience they experience of biometrics through their smartphones and have the same expectations of using biometrics in other devices and products. The big difference between a smartphone and a smart card or IoT device is the capacity for processing biometric information as they have much more limited platforms than smartphones and therefore it’s also a much bigger challenge to achieve the same speed of matching and overall performance of the system.

Consumers have so far of course mainly been concerned with convenience, that’s why the biometrics industry needs to ensure a good user experience without compromising security as it would endanger the whole industry if it turned out that biometrics were not secure enough. Providing solutions that hit the right balance between convenience and security will be the key success factor in this industry.

At Precise we are focused on solutions that have a strong need for high security and, through our extensive experience in biometrics, we are able to make them convenient at the same time. Our fingerprint software enables high biometric performance in limited platforms such as biometric smart cards, but also for wearables, such as bands, watches and rings as well as automotive and higher security access systems. Examples of implementations where our technology has been used are in the recently launched Xiaomi Mijia Smart Door Lock and Hyundai Motor’s “Smart Fingerprint Access and Start-up System” that allows drivers to unlock the door and start the engine using their fingerprint.

The next challenge that is faced in ensuring a high level of security is anti-spoofing, particularly with examples like door locks and cars, since their owners are not constantly with them, like say, a biometric smart card or wearable which tend to be with you all the time, or kept in a safe place, not easily accessible to others. By necessity, we have to leave our homes or park our cars which means that there are opportunities for criminals to attempt spoofing, therefore robust anti-spoofing solutions will need to be in place.

Looking at trends for the future, multimodality – a combination of different types of biometrics – is increasingly being adopted and we also see that biometrics are moving outside of devices as we’re seeing more and more solutions at the application level. Solutions like our new product, YOUNiQ are being implemented by any industry that has a need to verify the customer, such as banks, pension and insurance institutes, betting and gaming companies and the health care industry.By combining biometrics and other smart technology we can enhance both the experience and the security of mobile applications when onboarding and authenticating the customer. Combining a number of biometric features such as face and behavior alongside other types of metrics also enables another benefit – personalization. This includes the possibility of personalizing content, the user interface and offerings.

Another trend is the introduction of 5G in the market together with more advanced AI capabilities. This will mean biometric sensors will be fitted in many different types of devices that can all communicate quickly with each other through 5G. This exciting development will mean that there will be an abundance of sensors out there, with a potential to be inter-connected. This in turn I believe will continue to drive the use of biometrics further.

In conclusion, I believe that the biometric adoption has just started and that we have very exciting times ahead of us. In the future biometrics will be used by everyone, everywhere, to simplify and secure our daily lives.