IT Brief New Zealand logo
Technology news for New Zealand's largest enterprises
Story image

Passwords being phased out in favour of biometrics

By Shannon Williams
Mon 11 Jan 2016
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Passwords are being phased out as biometric security options take centre stage, according to new information from security software firm Wynyard Group.

The Auckland-based company says consumers are struggling to remember multiple and more complicated passwords brought about by an evolving cyber threat landscape.

Experts claim the password system is broken and combinations are now so complex that an alternative is required that is far more difficult to duplicate or steal – making body parts the ideal solution,” the company says in a statement.

According to Biometrics Research Group, 650 million people will be using biometrics on mobile devices alone by the end of this year.

ATMs, cars and briefcases have also now been secured with both fingerprint and palm vein pattern recognition technology. “Next year, a gun-lock that will only release the trigger when the owner’s finger squeezes is set to be launched,” the company explains. “And companies are increasingly experimenting with more unusual identifiers.”

For instance, banking apps are now using digital readings of face shape to access financial details, while other apps require iris, heartbeat and even brainwave patterns.

According to Wynyard, this new wave of biometric identifiers has led to concerns regarding criminals’ ability to replicate this data. Hackers have recently shown they could bypass Apple’s Touch ID, which requires a fingerprint, by taking a photograph of the fingerprint on a glass surface and using it to create a false finger.

German defence minister Ursula von der Leyen had her thumbprint cloned by a hacking group, which took a photo of her hand from a distance at a press conference, Wynyard says.

One solution to this issue is to require multiple persona identifiers, so called multi-factor authentication, requiring for example both a fingerprint and an iris for recognition, the company says.

“This does not however address the issue of what could happen if biometric personal information is stolen,” Wynyard says. “ Only this year, the fingerprints of 5.6 million U.S. federal employees were stolen. Whilst passwords can be changed, a fingerprint cannot, meaning any future accounts protected with biometric data could be compromised.”

If 2015 was the year of the breach with almost weekly breaches of company networks being made public, then 2016 could be the year of the exploit with stolen personally identifiable information – including biometrics – exploited to commit fraud, replicate identities and compromise consumers, commercial organisatons and intelligence activities, the company explains.

This will increase the hacking of organisations that hold DNA and other data like fingerprints as these unique signatures are increasingly used more often for authentication to devices and services.

“This growing area of criminal activity will demand a more rigorous approach to monitoring threat levels across organisations through specialised cyber security and intelligence software,” Wynyard says.

More companies are now focussed on rapid detection of malicious activity rather than its prevention, with the use of advanced analytics.

“Whereas conventional security solutions look for signs of malware code and other indicators of malicious threats, security cyber-analytics monitor network activity for tell-tale signs of cybercriminal behaviour.

“Activity might be documented within the logs of security software, network hardware devices, or user behaviour,” the company says. “This is all essential information that forms a powerful body of evidence which companies can leverage to fight back against unwanted intruders intent on stealing the most valuable and personal information of all.”

Related stories
Top stories
Story image
Low-code
Video: 10 Minute IT Jams - An update from Mendix
Mendix is a low-code platform used by businesses to develop mobile and web apps at scale, and Jornt joins us today to discuss how these offerings work, and what benefit they have in the development process.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Appier achieves historically high growth rate of 56% YoY
"Our strong momentum over the past two quarters underscores Appier's significant growth alongside our customers."
Story image
Lucid Software
Lucid Software expands enterprise offerings with enhanced slack apps
Lucid Software has expanded its enterprise offerings with enhanced slack apps for its Lucidspark and Lucidchart technology.
Story image
Malware
Kaspersky uncovers new attacks by advanced persistent threat group
The attacks involved modifications of the well-known malware, DTrack, as well as the use of a brand-new Maui ransomware.
Story image
Biometrics
Can biometrics help? 123% increase in Gen Zs scammed online
In the three years leading up to 2022, the number of Gen Zs who fell victim to online scams rose by 123%, according to Ping Identity.
Story image
InternetNZ
How well do rangatahi understand cyber safety in Aotearoa?
Do rangatahi in Aotearoa understand the importance of being safe online, or has lifelong exposure to the internet resulted in widespread complacency?
Story image
Data analytics
Pressure on orgs to up their data analytics game - study
A recent report from Sisense highlights data transmission, analysis, and risk management remain top concerns for data professionals in APAC.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Gartner unveils key emerging tech to watch in 2022
"Such technologies present greater risks for deployment, but potentially greater benefits for early adopters," says Gartner.
Story image
Infrastructure
IBM expands Power10 server line for business modernisation
IBM has recently announced a significant expansion of its Power10 server line with the introduction of mid-range and scale-out systems.
Story image
VMware
Latest VMware threat report reveals truth about deepfakes
"Cyber criminals have evolved. Their new goal is to use deepfake technology to compromise organisations and gain access to their environment."
Story image
SaaS
Exclusive: The Access Group shares the benefits of embracing SaaS
In today's rapidly changing working environments, efficiency and productivity are surefire ways to create business growth and success.
Story image
Hybrid Cloud
The essential guide to digital transformation by SolarWinds
Digital transformation is a buzzword thrown around all the time by companies, but what does it actually mean and why is it important? SolarWinds breaks it down.
Story image
Ingram Micro
Ingram Micro NZ sees $74 million revenue growth in 2021
Ingram Micro New Zealand's latest financial report reveals that its revenue from contracts with customers increased by almost $74 million in 2021.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Is your chatbot bringing down the customer satisfaction score?
The top 10 reasons why chatbots are failing to meet customer expectations and what you must do to avoid that.
Story image
JLL
Investment in APAC cold storage to reach $5 in next decade
Investment in Asia Pacific’s cold storage market is expected to grow fivefold in the next decade, according to JLL.
AWS Marketplace
Learn how security orchestration, automation, and response (SOAR) enhances your security strategy.
Link image
Story image
Privileged Access Management / PAM
The importance of stopping identity sprawl for cybersecurity
The 2021 Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR) shows that 61% of all breaches involve malicious actors gaining unauthorised, privileged access to data by using a compromised credential. Unfortunately, it is often too late when the misuse of a credential is detected.
Story image
Indusface
Why enhancing bot protection for web and API endpoints matters
The trouble with bots is that they aren’t all bad. Unfortunately, this can make it challenging to detect malicious bots that find their way into your system and threaten your business.
Story image
Digital Transformation
Top tips for making your finance transformation program a resounding success
Planning to make 2023 the year you embark on a wholesale finance transformation program? It’s a move that will stand your enterprise in excellent stead as you navigate the complexities of the post-Covid business landscape.
Story image
Dicker Data
Dicker Data brought on as Acronis partner for A/NZ
The news about the partnership comes in as cyber criminals continue to exploit gaps in traditional solutions and strategies in NZ and across the APAC region.
Story image
Data Protection
Advancing genomic sequencing and public health with digital infrastructures
Right before our eyes, we've witnessed the development of the COVID-19 vaccine in record time. An enormous achievement in an otherwise lengthy task that previously took, on average, 10-15 years.
Story image
Microsoft
Avast reveals zero-day exploits targeting Chrome and Microsoft
Avast, released its Q2/2022 Threat Report today, revealing a significant increase in global ransomware attacks, up 24% from Q1/2022.
Story image
Application Performance Monitoring / APM
New Relic integrates offering with Atlassian’s Jira Software
New Relic has integrated errors inbox with Jira Software to allow developers to easily access and set up complete stack error tracking and software performance monitoring from within the tool.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Datacom research explores reality of zero trust in A/NZ
Zero trust is fast emerging as global best practice in cybersecurity and local leaders are on board, with 83% considering it essential to security.
Story image
Augmented Reality
TeamViewer remote access software integrated into RealWear Cloud
TeamViewer has announced a major expansion of its partnership with RealWear, a leading provider of assisted reality wearable solutions for frontline industrial workers. 
Story image
Servers
New Zealand cloud provider challenges Google's claims on data control for region
A Wellington cloud services provider says Google's claim it will offer New Zealanders complete control over their own data is not true.
Story image
IDC
High level of Customer Identity & Access Management adoption
The study from Okta revealed that the pandemic has either accelerated or highlighted the need for digital-first strategies.
Story image
Enterprise Resource Planning / ERP
Why the right ERP (and partner) is crucial to an innovative and successful business
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) is a foundational step to ensuring a robust business model; here's why choosing the right one could be vital to ensuring long-term success and innovative results.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Education sector seeing highest volumes of cyber attacks
When breaking down the numbers to education attacks by region in July 2022, A/NZ was the most heavily attacked.
Story image
Firewall
Why printing security plays a vital part in keeping Aotearoa safe
While internet printing, mobile printing and other similar technologies have no doubt made things easier to manage, it has also brought a whole new set of problems to the table.
Story image
Cyber attacks
Dramatic uptick in threat activity with exploits growing nearly 150%
"While it’s not a surprise given increased attack opportunities like remote work, it’s still a worrying development and one we cannot ignore."
Story image
Gartner Magic Quadrant
Gartner names Lookout a Visionary in 2022 Magic Quadrant
Gartner has recognised Lookout as a Visionary in the 2022 Magic Quadrant for Security Service Edge (SSE) and one of the top three offerings in the 2022 Gartner Critical Capabilities for SSE report.
Story image
Distribution
Garmin expands NZ footprint with new Auckland distribution centre
The facility at Goodman’s Highbrook Business Park will be fully operational from October 2022 and features 3,586sqm of warehouse space.
Story image
Cloud Security
Tenable makes additions to Cloud Security portfolio
Tenable has announced additions to Tenable Cloud Security that represent the next step in assessing threats related to cloud vulnerabilities.
Story image
SaaS
Cloud and data protection big challenges for NZ businesses
"This surge towards a cloud-first approach meant security and safety became afterthoughts - there's no point being the fastest car on the racetrack if you crash.”
Story image
ExtraHop
Organisations exposing highly sensitive protocols to public internet
More than 60% of organisations expose remote control protocol SSH to the public internet, while 36% of organisations expose the insecure FTP protocol.
Story image
Tech job moves
Tech job moves - Fastly, INX, Kinly, SmartBear & Vectra AI
We round up all job appointments from July 29 - August 12, 2022, in one place to keep you updated with the latest from across the tech industries.
Story image
Surveillance
Ministry will no longer accept equipment from Chinese firm Hikvision
The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) says it will no longer accept equipment from a major Chinese surveillance camera maker.
Story image
Developers
Snyk announces plans to expand partner network in APJ
Recognising that partnerships are critical for growth, Snyk is building an entire partner ecosystem that will drive its expansion across APJ.
Story image
DevOps
Dynatrace extends application security capabilities for runtime environments
Dynatrace has announced that it has extended its Application Security Module to detect and protect against vulnerabilities in runtime environments.
Story image
Compliance
Why security needs to shape your journey to the cloud
It's estimated that 80% of workloads could be in the cloud in the next few years. How can you make all that data secure?