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GCN : June and July 2016
GCN JUNE/JULY 2016 • GCN.COM 31 Advances in biometric authentication and smartphone technologies make the marriage of the two a strong platform for identity verification BY MARIA KOROLOV n the federal government, Common Access Cards and personal identity verification cards for employees and contractors in- corporate biometrics and give agencies a better foundation for security and ID management than many private-sector organi- zations enjoy. But that wasn’t always the case. A few years ago, Kayvan Alikhani, senior director of technology at RSA Security, would have recommended against using most biometrics as the front line in authentication. The technology returned too many false positives and false neg- atives to be reliably used. Yet today, he said, “with iris detection, we’re at one out of 5 million when it comes to false acceptance or rejection rates.” And it’s not just irises. Fingerprint scans are now a central part of many mobile phones’ login process, and some devices are ca- pable of hand scans, vein detection, facial recognition and voice recognition as well. It’s even possible to identify individuals by the way they walk or hold their phones. Mobile devices, in fact, are emerging as promising replacements for traditional identification cards and other physical security devices. “Smartphones, tablets and phablets are becoming more and more equipped with sensors,” Alikhani said. “You can do a good job of mixing and matching.” Plus, standards-based bodies such as the FIDO Alliance — which was formed in 2012 to address the lack of interoperability among strong authentication devices — are striving to make sure that all the different authentication methods can work well together. 0716gcn_030-033.indd 31 6/2/16 10:29 AM
August and September 2016