Biometrics: Face The Future Of Digital Security

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With 4 in 10 small businesses and a quarter of charities reporting cyber security breaches in the last 12 months * it's more important to protect your personal and company data than ever before. With the increasing rise in cyber-attacks and data breaches, relying on a password alone can leave your computers, mobile devices, and online accounts in a vulnerable state. This is where passwordless sign-in can save the day.

Passwordless sign-in methods such as biometrics, authentication applications and security keys are more secure and convenient than traditional password-based sign-in methods. Many of the largest tech companies have integrated some form of passwordless sign-in into their platforms. Great examples include Apple’s or Google’s face ID to access your mobile device, and Microsoft’s extensive Windows Hello suite which offers options for Facial and fingerprint recognition, PIN sign-in and use of security keys.

Of all the passwordless sign-in methods available, biometrics are some of the most convenient and secure. Biometric sign-in identifies features and characteristics that are unique to the individual to create an extra layer of security. Your face, fingerprints or voice can all be used instead of a password protect your data. The key concept in using biometrics as a sign-in method is that it is the user rather than the credentials that is authenticated. Verifying identity, rather than credentials, is one of the key principles of the Zero Trust security model.

Here are 5 reasons why biometrics are superior to passwords when it comes to securing our computers.

Enhanced Security

Passwords can be insecure even if they meet the complexity requirements
Passwords can be insecure even if they meet the complexity requirements

Passwords can be stolen or compromised through brute-force attacks. Biometrics, such as fingerprint or facial recognition, provide an extra layer of security by relying on physical attributes that are difficult to replicate. Because these characteristics are unique to an individual, they are significantly more secure than passwords. As with other passwordless sign-in methods, such as a PIN to unlock a device, Biometric data is stored on the device it is used to access meaning that it is inherently protected from password leaks and data breaches.


Keeping track of multiple passwords can be complicated
Keeping track of multiple passwords can be complicated

Following the recommended complexity guidelines for passwords can increase their security but remembering these longer passwords can be difficult. If you also follow the advice to use a different password on each account or device, password management can become a nightmare (although greatly mitigated by using a password manager). This can lead to people using weak passwords across multiple accounts, storing password lists in insecure places such as sticky notes, or forgetting credentials and getting locked out of devices. Biometric authentication simplifies the user experience by eliminating the need to remember complex passwords. With a simple touch, scan, or glance, individuals can gain access to their computers, streamlining the login process and saving time.


Biometric data is unique to you and cannot be transferred
Biometric data is unique to you and cannot be transferred

A key advantage of biometrics is that they are unique to each individual and cannot be easily transferred or shared. Because of this, biometric sign-in methods align seamlessly with the principles of a Zero Trust policy. Passwords can be shared easily which, even in the hands of a trusted delegate, can increase the likely hood of a data breach. Because passwords are transferable, they carry an increased risk of exposing a system to unauthorised access which is a weakness that phishing scams often exploit. A Zero Trust policy favours explicit verification and recognises that trust is inherently insecure. When sign-in credentials are intrinsically limited to the assigned user only, you automatically increase both security and accountability.

Increased Accountability

Biometrics can add accountability to by authenticating people rather than credentials
Biometrics can add accountability to by authenticating people rather than credentials

One of the problems with passwords is that they don’t authenticate the identity of the person signing in, they just check if they know the password. Because of this it is difficult to determine who exactly accessed a computer system using a particular password. Biometrics, on the other hand, offer a high level of accountability by tying access directly to the individual. This can be particularly useful in environments where multiple users share a computer or when using systems where an audit trail is necessary.


Securing all your digital accounts using biometrics will increasingly be the norm
Securing all your digital accounts using biometrics will increasingly be the norm

As technology advances, passwords will become more vulnerable to new and sophisticated hacking techniques. Biometrics are not only more secure than passwords but also more adaptable. There are constant innovations in the way biometrics can read the unique characteristics of an individual. These authentication methods can also be used in conjunction with each other to create even stronger security measures, such as simultaneous face and voice recognition. Even the benefits of multi-factor authentication can be enhanced when using biometrics as and authentication method. If you are looking to future-proof your approach to computer security, biometrics are an important consideration.


While passwords have served as the standard in computer security for decades, their limitations are becoming increasingly apparent. Biometrics offers a range of notable advantages including enhanced security, convenience, non-transferability, increased accountability, and adaptability. As technology continues to evolve, the adoption of biometrics as an authentication method for computers isn’t just a flashy way to protect our data, it’s an increasingly necessary one.

* NCSC via the National Business Crime Centre

For some more info on Zero Trust, here’s a great infographic from Microsoft

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