New App Allows Biometric Access Control For Macs

Touch IDFans of Apple’s Touch ID must find loging on to their notebook and desktop Macs tedious and antiquated. And why not? Passwords are both insecure and inconvenient. With no indications that future versions of Apple’s computers will sport built-in fingerprint sensors like the current generation of iPhones and iPads do, it seems like relief is nowhere in sight.

Thankfully, a new app available through the AppStore can remedy that password fatigue. Leveraging the Touch ID fingerprint sensor, FingerKey allows an iOS 8 device to sync with a Bluetooth-LE enabled Mac to add a layer of biometric logical access control.

Complaints have come up that the app, like others that allow for remote unlock, is not as convenient as would be ideal. Even in the case of inconvenient deployments though, there are benefits to using mobile device based fingerprint biometrics for computer login. When fingerprint biometrics are required for desktop or laptop access and the sensor and template are held another device, a multifactor authentication system is at work.

Rather than the simple security of only ‘what you know’ (a password), FingerKey requires a ‘what you have’ factor (the specific iPhone) and a ‘what you are’ element (your fingerprint). It might not be as convenient as a sub-optimal, infrequently changed password, but for those observing proper passcode practices, FingerKey will offer relief from administrative upkeep and a bolstered bit of security.