What if there was something better than passwords? Well technically there is, but it isn't necessarily widespread just yet. Biometric readers have been used for years as a way to unlock our computers (and many other things) and after Apple introduced Touch ID, passwords started becoming less necessary. For instance, I have several apps that now ask me if I want to use Touch ID instead of typing in my password. While this technology isn’t full proof, it certainly is very convenient and a little more difficult to hack. But Apple isn’t the only one in this game. Microsoft introduced Windows Hello which, on compatible devices, can not only read your finger print but also recognize you by your face or iris.
How does this work? Basically, when you set up Windows Hello, the system will take data from the finger print, face or iris sensor and create what Microsoft calls a data representation. In their words, this isn’t a picture, in the case of the face or iris, but more of a graph. This information then gets encrypted and stored on the device. The one thing that some people might not like is that some of this data is collected in effort to see how people are using the software and if it’s working properly. Microsoft does, however, say that all information that could identify the user is stripped out before it’s sent.
What do we think? This could be a good step forward for security. For years, organizations concerned about security have been using facial recognition as well as iris and finger print scanners. This is not, technically speaking, a new technology. It’s just finally made it to the hands of the average consumer and at the end of the day, it works. Will it stop all attacks or all possible break-ins? No, but it’s definitely moving in the right direction.