Mobile users safer with biometric security: Report
11 November 2014 13:08 GMT

“the attractiveness of iOS users’ income has placed them in the crosshairs. of fraudsters

A new mobile security report published by Javelin Strategy & Research and Nok Nok Labs has found that mobile users are putting themselves at risk of fraud with flawed password strategies, and that users often prefer fingerprint authentication.

In “Smartphones, Tablets, and Fraud: When Apathy Meets Security,” the companies detail emerging risks such as reusing passwords, a heavy reliance on SMS-based one-time passwords (OTPs) among Android users, and a lack of lockscreen use.

While it is mobile malware that is spurring fraud experienced by Android users, “the attractiveness of iOS users’ income has placed them in the crosshairs of fraudsters”, notes the report.

Despite the prevalence of mobile malware for Android capable phones, 41% of Android users take advantage of OTPs. Meanwhile, More than six out of 10 Android (62%), iOS (63%), and Windows (61%) mobile device users use the same password for more than a single online account.

In the report, Android, iOS, and Windows mobile users mostly prefered fingerprint scanning (34%, 38%, and 30%, respectively) over other biometrics.   Eye-based authentication, including iris, vein mapping and retina, was second with rates of 13%  preference for Android and iOS, and 16% for Windows.

Facial recognition and voice were next with average preferences of 7%, followed by palm technology.

The report recommends a series of measures to improve mobile security, such as taking advantage of hardware integrated into devices.

“More secure solutions, such as those based on biometrics, can be delivered direct to consumers without the cost of providing additional hardware.“

But firms also need to teach users to accept biometrics:

“Consumer concerns about the privacy and effectiveness of a biometric solution can be relieved through education, giving other modalities an opportunity to close the gaps in public awareness and comfort”.

Nok Nok Labs is a founding member of the FIDO Alliance, an industry consortium dedicated to post-password authentication.

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