Passwords have been around for millennia. Thousands of years before the advent of the computer, the Roman aggressive would use what Polybius declared as a watchword to analyze ally from enemy. Similarly, during the Battle of Normandy, US paratroopers used consistently alteration call-and-response passwords – flash would be responded to with thunder, for archetype — to authorize friend from foe. 

The countersign entered computer science in 1960 thanks to Fernando Corbató, as a means of befitting files private. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology had developed a time-sharing system that all advisers had access to, about all files shared a common disk. To keep alone files private, a countersign was alien and users could access only their own.


With the addition of the internet, the acceptance of the countersign soared as a aboveboard but almost able means of befitting user accounts secure. Decades on, cybersecurity is still a claiming as data leaks and hacking attempts are more rife than ever. For many, the fact that we are still primarily using passwords as a means of attention our acute data is an anachronism in dire need of addressing. 

Enter biometrics

This is where biometrics can make an impact – and, indeed, they already are. You can thank tech giants like Apple and Samsung for popularizing the technology, introducing fingerprint scanners some six years ago and slowly architecture functionality onto the technology. 

Initially, users could unlock their accessories using their fingerprints. Today, cyberbanking apps grant access based on the information, and purchases can be made on app stores using no more than a print. 

On a very simple level, biometrics advance the user experience. Rather than having to bethink passwords or draw patterns to unlock accessories or accomplish other secure tasks, users can simply use fingerprints or facial recognition. 

Both are almost always quicker and more secure, confined as a ablaze archetype to users that the technology is annihilation to fear and can advance their acquaintance significantly. 

Some 89 percent of consumers are already accustomed with biometrics in some form, with 55 percent using fingerprint acceptance technology on a approved basis. This comes from the admittance of fingerprint scanners on just about every major smartphone appear in the last few years. 

With one tap, users can gain access to their accessories in a way that is deemed so secure, that it can be used to accredit payments. Many also now advance facial acceptance technology for even more seamless user identification, with the likes of Apple acceptance users to pay using only their faces. 

Passwords are a weak link for both user aegis and aggregation efficiency. For most people, the notion of having the same countersign for every annual they hold is too alarming — password theft is rife and any breach would be best independent to a single account. On the other hand, canonizing assorted altered passwords across the myriad accounts we hold in 2019 is also imperfect. 

For customers, it’s a headache, while for corporations it can be an big-ticket waste of time. 

According to CNN, Microsoft spends $2 actor a month on help desk calls from people who want to change their passwords. According to a 2017 report from VISA, some 61 percent of respondents have assorted passwords across their altered accounts, making the botheration a cogent one. When asked why they had alone an online acquirement in the past, half of the respondents cited not being able to bethink a countersign as a reason. 


Abdulaziz Alzubaidi has a PhD in engineering with a focus on aegis and is currently a adroitness member at Umm Al-Qura University. For him, biometrics are the future of affidavit and the humble countersign may be due retirement. 

“When we talk about biometrics, we should accede both types of biometrics; physiological and behavioral,” Abdulaziz told Binary District Journal. 

“Modern accessories abutment physiological biometrics such as fingerprint and face recognition. Although these biometrics have a few limitations, they should be used as an affidavit method, since acceptable methods like entering a PIN or cartoon a arrangement are accessible to simple exploits like accept surfing attacks, which allow anyone to gain device access. In my opinion, I see biometrics having a high achievability of replacing acceptable affidavit methods.

“Imagine this scenario, your device has been used by a friend or even a family member, who knows your countersign for your device and online bank. He/she can easily access the device and log in to your account, even if he/she uses multi-factor authentication. This simple book shows that acceptable affidavit methods can access the aegis issue for anyone. It is not only for cyberbanking but for any accessible app on your device, like social apps, emails etc., so biometrics are more secure when we analyze them with the countersign method.”

Managing attrition to change

User acquaintance is important here, though. If relying on fingerprint scanning alone is too porous, developers should accede other methods of affidavit before adding more biometric hoops to jump through. 

No one wants to have to scan their thumb and their face while speaking into their phones just to access their mobile banking.  

Equally, some people may not be adequate with using a fingerprint scanner at all, decidedly if they are being asked to accommodate that advice just to access a social media account. 

What will be important is customization. Developers will have to offer users altered options and make the aegis implications of those options clear, much in the same way that some websites offer two-stage affidavit but don’t make it compulsory.  

If a cyberbanking app can be opened with one a fingerprint, great, but some users will feel more adequate adding a countersign and an iris scan to the process, once the latter becomes adult enough. 

In terms of security, pivoting to biometrics may well throw up just as many questions as it does answers.

Crucially, passwords can be afflicted if stolen. If a hacker finds a way of breaching biometric authentication, the implications for the user’s assorted accounts and accessories would be huge – it’s a lot less simple to change your fingerprints or your face. 

There have also been cases of hackers accepting access using a annual of a user’s face. This could mean that multi-stage affidavit will still be necessary, adverse the seamlessness that makes biometrics so ambrosial in the first instance.

Just be yourself

The next step in customized affidavit is behavioral biometrics. This is biometrics not based on concrete identifiers like fingerprints or scans of the iris, but rather the assay of a user’s behavior to actuate their identity.

Going far beyond technologies like voice and signatures, behavioral biometrics can focus on annihilation from finger movements to hand tremors and hand-eye coordination.

It can even be bent how well the user knows the advice they are being asked to submit, or how accustomed they are with the app they’re trying to gain access to.

“Recent analysis has proved that behavioral biometrics have the abeyant to analyze a smartphone owner with high accuracy,” Abdulaziz says.

“Most of these studies use altered approaches like touchscreen, keystroke, gait, behavioral profiling etc., and show each accountable has a unique identity. Behavioral biometrics does not need more sensors, so the cost of architecture any device will not increase.

“The main points that we need to accede are time to train, size of data, and where should be trained. Acclamation these points will lead behavioral biometrics to be one of the important biometrics, in my opinion, not only in smartphones but to most smart devices.”

Behavioral biometrics, if auspiciously deployed, will solve problems that other forms of cybersecurity have faced throughout their existence.

One major absolute is that it is a acquiescent form of identification – users need not change their behavior at all to access their accessories – in fact, quite the opposite.

They can also be deployed throughout the affair in the background, acceptation accepting access won’t give hackers carte blanche to accomplishment a user’s account.

As with all affidavit methods, accurateness will be paramount. There are a number of companies – see NuData, BehavioSec or Invisible Challenges, for archetype – alive on architecture behavioral biometrics solutions, while UK bank NatWest has shown absorption in utilizing the technology to anticipate fraud in real time.

Getting to a applicable degree of accurateness will absorb apparatus acquirements and even deep learning, while a large degree of drip-feeding will be needed to animate a about agnostic public to trust the technology.

If the success of fingerprint ID for smartphones can be taken as a marker, then biometrics will be accustomed by users.

The technology is an easy sell, and any ache around tech companies captivation your fingerprint data will be offset by how acutely bigger Face ID is to a countersign when it comes to befitting a bank annual secure.

There will be teething problems – hacks will make account and some will be afflictive with the technology – but ultimately the countersign appears doomed in the face of a truly 21st aeon alternative.

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