The Columbian: Beyond fingerprints: Your phone knows

March 5, 2017 — Beyond fingerprints: Your phone knows

NuData’s Robert Capps comments on the need for extended authentication technology in the face of expanding online fraud risks.

The things that make human beings unique — fingerprints, irises, facial features — have become the preferred way to sign onto banking accounts online or other sensitive websites, the newest solution to the problem of hackable and forgettable passwords.

But your fingerprints can be stolen, your photo replicated. Now cyber experts are looking at the next security step: cellphones and computers that actually recognize you from a variety of factors.

Your smartphone now gathers more information about you than you probably realize.

“It’s amazing how many sensors there are on a modern-day smartphone. You have motion sensors, like an accelerometer, a gyroscope and magnetometer,” said John Whaley, chief executive of UnifyID, a startup that offers what it calls revolutionary authentication.

“The need for extended authentication technology is going to be great,” said Robert Capps, vice president of business development at NuData Security, a Vancouver firm that uses behavioral analytics to help clients identify good users from bad ones.

The downside to using biometrics, such as fingerprints, in computer security is not widely understood.

“There definitely is a gap in the perceived value of biometrics and the true value,” said Daniel Ingevaldson, chief technology officer at Easy Solutions, a Doral, Fla., company that helps banks fight electronic fraud.

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