Majority of organizations now using biometric authentication

IT pros see advanced identity verification being used in tandem with standard user names and passwords.

Almost two-thirds of organizations now use biometric authentication technology, and an another 24 percent plan to use it within the next two years, according to a new study by Spiceworks, an online community for IT professionals.

For its research, Spiceworks surveyed 492 technology professionals in North America and Europe in February. Responses to the survey found that 62 percent use biometrics for authentication.

The findings show that although most IT professionals think biometric authentication is more secure than traditional forms of authentication—such as text-based passwords, personal identification numbers and personal security questions—only 10 percent consider biometrics to be secure enough to be used as the sole form of authentication.

Fingerprint and face scanners are the most common types of biometric authentication used on corporate devices and services, respondents say. The results show 57 percent of organizations are using fingerprint scanning technology, while 14 percent have deployed face recognition technology.

Other biometric methods used include hand geometry recognition (5 percent), iris scanning technology (3 percent), voice recognition (2 percent) and palm-vein recognition (2 percent).

“Many IT professionals aren’t convinced biometrics can serve as a secure and reliable replacement for the standard user name and password combo,” said Peter Tsai, senior technology analyst at Spiceworks. “Unless technology vendors can address the security issues and privacy concerns associated with biometrics, the technology will likely be used side-by-side in the workplace with traditional passwords or as a secondary authentication factor for the foreseeable future.”

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