The case for the business benefits behind biometrics is growing

For roughly 20 years now surveys of enterprises and my own reporting have shown the use of biometric authentication to be a niche market. While enterprises have known certain levels of access should have some form of second factor authentication, multi-factor authentication didn’t really catch on beyond a few use cases, such as for privileged accounts and in some areas within healthcare and government.

And even when enterprises turned to stronger authentication they typically reached for authentication tokens rather than biometrics. Why?  There are many reasons for the lack of adoption, including cost and convenience. Many people simply didn’t like using biometrics and the additional hardware was a hassle to manage. There also weren’t any standards that helped with system integration and interoperability.

To make matters even worse for biometrics, they didn’t always work well in challenging environments, such as in healthcare organizations where people often have wet hands, or outdoors in dusty or grimy conditions.

Much of this has changed, as many of these factors have improved over the years, as we covered in Biometrics finally gaining widespread acceptance. In that post we covered how biometrics are growing more popular, especially as it comes to fingerprint biometrics. A study from the University of Texas at Austin found 58 percent of respondents say they feel very comfortable with fingerprint scanning biometrics.

Only about a third reported feeling very comfortable with any other biometric type. Survey respondents were most unsure about facial recognition technology, with 13 percent feeling “not at all comfortable,” a full 10 percent more than any other type of biometric. The survey also found that users are more comfortable with private-sector applications than law enforcement initiatives, which is likely due to the increasing prevalence of biometric applications in the marketplace.

Largely, I think, the change in perception of fingerprint biometrics is due to integration of the technology into smartphones.

Now, we have new information that bodes well for further fingerprint biometric adoption. According to research from Goode Intelligence, there are quantifiable customer benefits to be gained from biometric authentication. According to the report, 45 percent of survey respondents said that biometric authentication helps to improve customer engagement; lower customer acquisition costs; as well as lower operational costs. In fact, 56 percent of survey respondents cited reduced call center calls as a result of using biometric authentication.

One of the benefits the study cited about biometric authentication:  “Consistent customer experience across channels that can lead to a cost benefit of multiple millions of dollars annually by replacing numerous authentication systems with a single authentication platform that supports all channels,” Goode Research said in this statement.

Not surprisingly, respondents cited security and compliance benefits, with a vast majority, 78 percent, reporting increased compliance as a result of deploying biometrics.

This shouldn’t surprise readers of this blog. Way back in 2016 we covered How biometrics will transform the brand experience. Now we are starting to see evidence of it happening.

According to Markets and Markets, the global forecast for biometrics market is growing rapidly. The market is expected to expand at an annual rate of 20 percent, from $17 billion this year to $42 billion by 2023.

It looks like the time for the widespread adoption of biometrics is here.

*** This is a Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog from Cybersecurity Matters – DXC Blogs authored by Cybersecurity Matters. Read the original post at: