What is the current ranking list of favourite login methods? The security provider Nevis recently looked into this exact question and asked its LinkedIn community to give its thoughts. The answer: give us biometric methods! At 71%, facial recognition took first place among the most popular login processes, followed by a large margin by fingerprints at 17%. Passwords, by contrast, were in the penultimate place. One thing’s for sure: biometric processes are becoming an ever more ubiquitous part of daily life in Germany – initial scepticism on the part of users seems to have been overcome. But what’s the picture like from the providers’ point of view and what measures are they taking to meet changing customer wishes? You can find the answers in our new blog post.
Pandemic-driven changes in customer behaviour
The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic of the last two years stretch even to the login habits of consumers. So much has been demonstrated by a representative online survey by Software Advice, which showed that just in 2021 40% of those surveyed switched from a password to a biometric method. Fingerprints gained an especially large degree of popularity with 55% of survey participants choosing this method. Facial recognition came in second, and iris scanning in third.
What’s most noticeable in this is the security aspect: 68% trusted the extremely high protection offered by biometric technology, while only 32% felt the same about passwords. This all goes to show that biometrics are winning by a long shot, thanks in part to the benefits they provide.
Besides security, participants in the online survey also named the high degree of user convenience and that fact this method removes the possibility of being unable to log in due to forgotten credentials, as might be the case with a 12-character password. If new customer habits demonstrate one thing most of all it’s that customers want a combination of data security and user convenience – a mindset that’s already become firmly rooted.
The big players are following suit
This is all reason enough for Apple, Google and Microsoft to revise their strategy: instead of continuing to rely just on passwords, the tech giants announced in early May that they would cooperate across various media and create a “passwordless world”. The security standards developed by the FIDO Alliance and World Wide Web Consortium serve to guide them. By 2023, passwordless logins will have been integrated into Android and Chrome software – meaning that passwords will soon give way to modern alternatives and be relegated to the past. Google and Apple both voiced similar plans as was seen in Apple’s most recent press conference – where the corporation made a major stride forward with its new passkeys. These use cryptographic techniques to eliminate passwords and deploy biometric functions such as FaceID and TouchID to protect online accounts.
In the future, users will receive a request on a previously registered device such as a smartphone when logging in. Once the device is unlocked with their preferred biometric data, the device will then send a confirmation to the online service. The advantage of this is that sensitive data doesn’t leave the device and it isn’t passed onto online providers and portals. This gives the user maximum convenience while protecting their privacy.
Are biometric processes as secure as they say? Yes!
The unique nature of biometric characteristics is a huge advantage when it comes to identity verification. This is because each individual person has immutable features enabling live verification of identity – for instance when comparing facial biometrics with an ID document. This ensures the person in question truly is who they say they are.
Providers can even tell twins apart on a physiological basis – be it through fingerprints, iris scans or facial recognition. Other options that are also part of biometrics are behaviour-based AI methods such as measuring the typing frequency and finger pressure when tapping keys.
However, for optimal protection and unambiguous identity verification of the user, Apple doesn’t only rely on its front camera, as is the case with most smartphone manufacturers. Instead, the manufacturer combines a TrueDepth camera system with machine learning to unlock the iPhone by glancing at the display. To set up FaceID, the face is recorded using 30,000 infrared rays to create a depth map and an infrared image. This facial data is saved to ensure the smartphone can be unlocked even in darkness or while wearing a face mask. Even significant changes in one’s appearance, such as shaving off a beard or a new hair colour, don’t cause any issues because Face ID is first secured by the user with a code before the new face data is saved. The depth information also prevents FaceID from being fooled as the technology can detect whether the image in front of it is a real person or a 2D picture.
This all shows how biometric methods are the new password when it comes to identity verification. They meet all the needs of both consumers and providers: security, flexibility, reliability and protection of privacy.