Passwords are passe but biometrics are not mobile

April 23, 2010

Writing in the International Journal of Electronic Marketing and Retailing, researchers from the US and Germany point out an inherent flaw in the financial industry adopting biometric logins to boost security in that the advent of mobile devices, such as netbooks, PDAs, and smart phones might make biometric logins impossible when one is on the move.

Biometric logins that use , , or identify you based on how you type look set to replace conventional passwords for accessing online banking and credit card services, online payment companies and even internet stockbrokers. However, smart phones and other portable devices do not currently have the sophistication to be adapted easily for biometric technology. Moreover, users are likely to be reluctant to carry yet another device and its associated electrical charger along with their smart phone simply to login to their bank account when not at their .

James Pope of the College of Business Administration, at the University of Toledo, Ohio working with Dieter Bartmann of the University of Regensburg, Germany, explain that the security of online financial transactions is becoming an increasing problem, especially as security loopholes in login systems and web browsers emerge repeatedly. Simply logging in with a password looks set to become technically passé.

"Passwords have been widely used because of their simplicity of implementation and use," the researchers say, "but are now regarded as providing minimal security." Moreover, as repeated scare stories about hacking and identity theft pervade the media, consumers are becoming increasingly concerned about online security. Further development of e-commerce and banking will be stifled if the issues of fraud and identity theft are not addressed. While biometric readers are being adapted for desktop computers they are seriously lagging behind in portability and compatibility with and other mobile computing devices.

Explore further: Nokia adding Symantec security to phones

More information: "Securing online transactions with biometric methods" in International Journal of Electronic Marketing and Retailing, 2010, 3, 132-144

Related Stories

Biometrics for secure mobile communications

July 20, 2006

Though security applications that verify a person's identity based on their physical attributes, such as fingerprint readers or iris scanners, have been in use for some time, biometric security has only recently started to ...

Palm Vein Biometric PC Mouse Goes on Sale

September 11, 2007

Fujitsu today announced that it has developed a PC Login Kit for use with the PalmSecure palm vein biometric authentication device and begun sales of a mouse model and a standard model for corporate users.

Wake-up call: Draft security pub looks at cell phones, PDAs

July 10, 2008

In recent years cell phones and PDAs—"Personal Digital Assistants"—have exploded in power, performance and features. They now often boast expanded memory, cameras, Global Positioning System receivers and the ability to ...

Photo safeguards confidential information

October 22, 2008

( -- These days you can take a photograph with almost every mobile phone. However, using this sort of photo to protect confidential data and send it safely is something new. Ileana Buhan, a PhD student at the ...

Recommended for you

Drone market to hit $10 billion by 2024: experts

October 3, 2015

The market for military drones is expected to almost double by 2024 to beyond $10 billion (8.9 billion euros), according to a report published Friday by specialist defence publication IHS Jane's Intelligence Review.

Radio frequency 'harvesting' tech unveiled in UK

September 30, 2015

An energy harvesting technology that its developers say will be able to turn ambient radio frequency waves into usable electricity to charge low power devices was unveiled in London on Wednesday.

Professors say US has fallen behind on offshore wind power

September 29, 2015

University of Delaware faculty from the College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment (CEOE), the College of Engineering and the Alfred Lerner School of Business and Economics say that the U.S. has fallen behind in offshore wind ...

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

5 / 5 (2) Apr 23, 2010
Strange that people have had their passwords compromised so easily, if this article is any authority. In the 30 years I've been computing, aside from one case of internal espionage (back in the days of BBSes), I've never had a password compromised.

It seems biometric systems would be best provided as an option for customers. Those of us who are happy (and successfully secure) with passwords and shun biometric technologies should not be penalised.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.