‘Past’word Authentication in progress

An average user has 25 passwords to remember and passwords are the centerpiece of high profile breaches at Yahoo, LinkedIn and Target. They have outlived their usefulness and biometrics are paving the way ahead.


Aman Khanna

Co-Founder and VP Product, Pramati

Gartner estimates, 20% to 50% of all help desk calls are for password resets. Forrester Research states that the average cost for a single password reset is about $70. Passwords actions like type, retype, remember, change, and create are individually miniscule but when performed multiple times daily add up to three minutes/day/user. With modest wage assumptions, this is equivalent to $480,000 annually for an organization of 1000 people – a cost that can be easily mitigated by eliminating passwords.

“By upgrading user’s authentication experience to something always unique and personal, biometrics improves user confidence in the system.”

Biometrics technologies are mature and have become mainstream, they are proving to be an increasingly desirable authentication mechanism for users as well as organizations. While biometrics might not be the end of quest for making authentication agile, they make authentication simple yet strong. They will drive transformations that will dwarf their obvious benefits.
Broadbase Inclusion: Using Biometrics for authentication makes the systems transcend language and literacy barriers. The method is universally viable and provides a natural way to securely onboard massive new populations (especially in the developing world) as users of technology systems.
Global Identity: The concept of biometric authentication is intricately intertwined with identity. It is estimated that more than 25% of humanity does not have a legal identity yet. Add to that the daily increasing numbers of refugees transitioning for asylums to other countries. Using biometrics as a means for establishing and verifying identity is the only reliable way to provide a foundation for solving these massive socio-political problems.
IoT Security: As the Internet of Things continues to permeate deeper into every aspect of our lives, the number of interactions during which our identities need to be authenticated will increase exponentially. In future, we could be authenticating hundreds of times a day in a host of interactions with smart homes, cars, banks, healthcare providers and endless other systems. Biometric is a natural fit for authentication that needs both identification and confirmation.
It’s a long road ahead until passwords become extinct. Maybe multi factor authentication driven by email and sms will dominate all authentication, until then biometrics gives a start to the authentication of the future. A future where the pain associated with authentication will hardly exist.