HYPR & MITRE conduct study on passwordless MFA
31 October 2019 13:51 GMT

HYPR has announced it has collaborated with The MITRE Corporation on an accessibility study aimed at optimizing public-facing government websites so persons with disabilities can better access critical services using secure passwordless authentication and mobile biometrics.

The study was conducted and is co-authored by Ronna ten Brink and Rebecca Scollan, both of MITRE Corporation, and is one of the first known accessibility studies of biometric and passwordless user experiences. The research investigated the usability of passwordless multi-factor authentication schemes for users with and without disabilities by comparing three biometric modalities (fingerprint, eye and palm recognition) and one non-biometric authentication modality (PIN) on effectiveness, efficiency and perceived usability to carry out the passwordless authentication of test subjects.

As part of the study, MITRE and HYPR utilized the company's True Passwordless Security platform, enabling passwordless authentication across iOS, Android and web applications. This is also one of the first known accessibility studies of multi-factor authentication leveraging the Fast Identity Online (FIDO) Standards.

The research found notable usability differences between traditional and biometric schemes of authentication. For example, biometrics that required users to position their device in relation to their body had lower usability for participants with limited or no vision. MITRE continues to pursue improvements in the usability and accessibility evaluation of new authentication technologies as well as research into innovative new ways to improve access to technologies that require positioning a mobile device.

"MITRE is our nation's most trusted name in R&D and partnerships. We're honored to have been able to work with the MITRE team to reveal the accessibility potential that passwordless authentication and mobile biometrics can enable for government websites," said Yan Grinshtein, head of User Experience at HYPR, who oversees the personal journeys users have for the company's enterprise-facing solutions.