2016 Year in Review Comment: Alan Goode
29 December 2016 13:30 GMT

Alan Goode is the Founder and Managing Director of Goode Intelligence. He is a respected expert in information security and mobile security and has written a number of publications on these subjects

So the biometric roller coaster ride continues …

It has been another extraordinary year for the biometrics industry. More smart mobile devices support integrated biometric sensors, including the arrival of a new kid on the block – iris recognition.

Any organisation that wants to support basic biometric authentication can make use of native biometric APIs supplied by the two biggest names in the mobile platform industry.  Apple’s Touch ID API and Google's native fingerprint APIs enable organisations to quickly leverage a biometric authentication ecosystem that is accurate and secure. It certainly opens the door to convenient user authentication and is available on hundreds of millions of devices around the world. 

For organisations wanting a little more control over their user’s credentials then there are alternative biometric solutions that build on scalable authentication platforms and can support both native mobile biometric APIs and other biometric applications that either use the built-in capabilities of the mobile or use server-side identity systems.

The combination of widely-available and convenient device-based biometric technology and support from cloud-based data analytics enable biometrics to be paired with contextual risk-based authentication. This ensures that the right biometric technology is always used for the right user scenario matching the risk profile of that particular authentication request or transaction.

This enables organisations to support multi-channel service delivery and ensures that the user is presented with an appropriate biometric. For instance, opening up an app using the native fingerprint sensor and then using a second, more secure, biometric to approve a transaction or to access more sensitive company information.

I predict that 2017 will be as exciting as 2016 for biometric adoption with new applications and technologies supporting this form of personal authentication; from Smart cards with integrated fingerprint sensors,  the extension of voice command to voice biometrics for smart speakers in the home, numerous models for the support of biometric identity for the auto industry – including integrated sensors in the car or on the key fob to leveraging biometrically-enabled smartphones and wearable devices. 2017 will be a fascinating year for the biometrics industry and I can’t wait to be a part of it.