This week that has just reached its conclusion continued the discussions coming out of the recently completed Mobile World Congress (MWC 2014). Namely, the conversations of cloud biometrics, strong authentication on smartphones and mobile commerce.
Let’s start with the speculation on what’s to come. Smartphones are truly the harbingers of the post-password paradigm, simply on the merit that the increasingly ubiquitous devices are home to an entire arsenal of biometric measurement tools. This week, the internet was buzzing with the talk of a new modality, thanks to a representative form Fujitsu claiming that the Japanese tech manufacturer has plans to bring its PalmSecure technology to its smartphone offerings.
The many-modal nature of the smartphone’s ability to prove its user is who she says she is is part of the reason that IdentityX’s Infinity Platform is such a good fit for the FIDO Alliance. The Daon affiliated company announced that it has been welcomed as a member of the strong authentication consortium’s board of directors. With FIDO, IdentityX will find itself surrounded by companies with the common goal of universal strong online authentication, and thanks to the Infinity Platform’s ability to support any biometric or strong authentication factor, collaboration will be made easy in the fight to burry passwords.
Getting rid of passwords where they get in the way most seems to be the motivation behind Apple’s biometric wireless device link US patent the it has recently applied for. The technology described in the patent application will allow for Touch ID users to securely and wirelessly connect their smartphones to other devices without encountering the friction of passwords and PINs. It seems like the first step in making the iPhone an appealing device for businesses looking for an answer to the BYOD security issues plaguing the modern workplace.
BYOD solutions don’t need to revolve around the (relatively) very few fingerprint smartphones on the market. Two increasingly popular ways to protect against the threats inherent in BYOD are the authentication key solution and the cloud identity management for enterprise option.
This past week, ImageWare, provider of cloud-based Biometrics-as-a-Service (BaaS) identity management solutions entered a testing phase with T-Systems.
“With T-Systems as a partner, ImageWare Systems will be able to enter the European market in the near future and offer next-generation identity management cloud storage solutions,” said Jim Miller, chairman and CEO of ImageWare Systems. “This partnership not only expands our presence in this important region, but in other worldwide markets as well.”
On the other end of BYOD protection: UBIN launched its new MiKey authentication peripheral that combines fingerprint biometrics, data storage, USB technology, smart card functions and soon NFC capabilities. The device is flexible, allowing for the authentication of mobile devices, PCs and even physical access control units.
Finally, one of the biggest pieces of news of out MWC 2014 was that PayPal supports the fingerprint biometrics on Samsung’s new flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S5. This is a big deal in North America particularly, a region that has been wanting a strong authentication solution to enable mCommerce for some time.
In Nigeria, mCommerce has already been gaining traction thanks to the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Cash-Less Lagos project, that sees the charging of fees on cash based transactions in order to encourage the adoption of new methods of physical payment. VeriFone has won a contract with Teasy Mobile in the region in order to add its biometrics to a payment system that will allow Teasy customers to circumvent cash fees by paying with their phones.