It’s now increasingly rare to have a password as the only form of authentication for access to any system that may house personally identifiable data. Even when IT makes password changes mandatory at set intervals, users forget their new passwords, write them down, use the same password in multiple places, or use passwords that are easy for hackers to figure out. As cybercriminals become more sophisticated, new technologies are emerging to make authentication even more secure.
- Driven in the business space by IT governance and security postures, and in the consumer space by online ecommerce fraud, tools such as 2-factor authentication (2FA) or multi-factor authentication (MFA) — where in addition to a password, users must also enter a code generated upon each login and sent to them via text message or email — have become more commonplace. Fides requires two-factor authentication for access to the Fides Multibanking Suite, Fides ARS, and Fides EFT and is evaluating additional technologies to add in future.
- Passwordless authentication removes the need for the user to remember a password at all. Instead, they login using a public key (for example, a user name) and a private key (such as a token code generated by secure software installed on the user’s phone, a fingerprint, or a text message). While similar to MFA, this eliminates password-based risk altogether.
- Biometrics involves using voice recognition, a fingerprint or iris (eye) scan as proof of identity. Many mobile devices, apps, and retail banks now offer fingerprint recognition as an option for bypassing the need for a password or passcode.
- Facial recognition takes biometrics one step farther, removing the need for any action on the user’s part. Facial recognition technology maps facial features from a photograph or video and matches them with a database of known faces — an example of this is the auto-tagging of photos on Facebook.
There are many potential fintech applications for authentication that may impact treasury systems and processes. For example, in the payments space, Incode is using facial recognition technology to offer verification for both online and in-person payments, banking, onboarding, and a new platform for workplace health and safety that can use technology to detect whether the user is wearing a mask.
The Fides teams actively follow market trends, news, and emerging technologies. We regularly engage with our clients to learn what is most important to them, and with our partners to see where we can work together to deliver new, relevant joint solutions.