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Gartner Says 30 Percent of Organizations Will Use Biometrics for Mobile Devices by 2016

The proliferation of mobile devices in the workplace will require trade-offs between security and usability.
Posted Feb 4, 2014
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Gartner today released a report in which it predicts that, by 2016, 30 percent of organizations will use biometric authentication on mobile devices, up from 5 percent today.

Gartner recommends that security leaders evaluate biometric authentication methods where higher-assurance authentication is required. Suitable authentication modes include interface interactivity, voice recognition, face topography and iris structure. These modes can be used in conjunction with passwords to provide higher-assurance authentication without requiring any significant change in user behavior, the firm suggests.

"Mobile users staunchly resist authentication methods that were tolerable on PCs and are still needed to bolster secure access on mobile devices," said Ant Allan, research vice president at Gartner, in a statement. "Security leaders must manage users' expectations and take into account the user experience without comprising security."

Moreover, as a mobile device itself provides a rich node of identity-relevant contextual data, this information can also be used to increase the trust in the claimed identity. It is possible that the combination of passive biometric authentication and contextual authentication will provide sufficient assurance in medium-risk scenarios without the need for gateway authentication events using passwords or tokens.

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