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Nearly 90% of Firms Will Use Biometrics by 2020

The vast majority of organizations will use biometric authentication technology by 2020, but concerns over vendor transparency persist, according to Spiceworks.

The professional IT network polled nearly 500 members in North America and Europe to gather their views on the burgeoning authentication technology.

It found that 62% use it already in some form, while an additional 24% will do so in the next two years.

However, although most believe it to be a more secure alternative to static passwords, PINs and personal security questions, just 10% claimed biometrics are secure enough to be used as the only form of authentication.

That means in most cases the tech will be used in a multi-factor authentication scenario.

Fingerprint scanners were by far the most popular form of biometrics among respondents (57%), followed by facial recognition (14%), hand geometry recognition (5%), iris scanners (3%), voice recognition (2%) and palm-vein recognition (2%).

Apple appears to lead the way when it comes to fingerprint scanning (34%) and facial recognition (14%). Lenovo Fingerprint Manager (13%) and Samsung fingerprint readers (13%) were also popular, as was Microsoft’s Windows Hello face login (13%) and Android Face Unlock (7%).

The largest number of respondents claimed their organization uses biometrics via the smartphone (46%), while a quarter use it to authenticate employees on laptops and 22% use it on tablets. Some 17% of organizations use biometrics to authenticate employees on time-clock systems, and 11% use it on door locks for the server room.

However, only 23% of IT professionals think biometric authentication will replace traditional text-based passwords in the next twp to three years, and a majority claimed there’s not enough transparency about the vulnerabilities discovered in biometric systems (65%), and that there isn’t enough transparency around biometric data collection by vendors (63%).

“Many IT professionals aren’t convinced biometrics can serve as a secure and reliable replacement for the standard username and password combo,” said Peter Tsai, senior technology analyst at Spiceworks. “Unless technology vendors can address the security issues and privacy concerns associated with biometrics, the technology will likely be used side-by-side in the workplace with traditional passwords or as a secondary authentication factor for the foreseeable future.”

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