Why You Need Multimodal Biometrics for Secure Remote Logins

Compared to the early days of biometric technology, the average person is well aware of what biometrics are. We unlock our phones using our fingerprints, log in to our Macbooks or Windows machines with a quick facial scan, or even just use voice recognition to tell Alexa to reorder products for us. 

Notably, all of those uses are based on a single biometric modality. On top of that, these are all consumer uses, designed for convenience rather than security. When we were still able to attend conferences in person, it seemed as though each year someone new would showcase how they were spoofing the biometric recognition system on a device. Faces can be deepfaked, voices spoofed, and fingerprints have been copied in numerous ways. 

In an enterprise environment, the standard for security is much higher. When it’s hundreds of thousands of dollars being transferred, locking down HIPAA protected data, or even protecting against spear phishing, you need unbreachable security. A single, consumer-grade biometric modality that can be fooled by a mask or photo just doesn’t cut it. 

What are multimodal biometrics? 

For enterprise applications, multimodal biometrics are a secure access method that adds a significant layer of security to the login process. 

Multimodal means more than one, and when used for login or access control, multimodal biometrics mean that you’re using two or more biometric modalities to verify the identity of the person trying to access the system. By requiring multiple biometric modalities, the chances of one being spoofed or bypassed is mitigated by the other modality that would also need to be fooled. 

Multimodal biometrics can be a combination of any number of biometrics. Your mobile phone can act as a biometric reader for face, palm, voice, or fingerprint, or you can leverage iris scanners or other hardware for a more detailed reading of other biometrics. When there’s more than one biometric modality in use, it’s multimodal! 

Using Multimodal Biometrics for Improved Cybersecurity 

Multimodal biometrics are more than just a futuristic way to log in to business systems without passwords, they’re significantly more secure all around. 

Usernames and passwords alone are already recognized as insufficient security, and even adding two factor authentication isn’t enough to truly secure an account. Using biometric multi factor authentication removes the ability to steal access credentials.

For maximum security in the most sensitive cases, you can require biometric authentication in multiple channels for out of band authentication. This can be done with minimal friction to the end user - require a facial recognition scan from a laptop or computer’s webcam, and then prompt the user’s cell phone through the GoVerifyID app to provide an alternate or additional modality. 

By adding these multiple layers of security, as well as multiple authentication channels, the level of challenge presented to try and break in becomes so difficult it may as well be impossible. This difficulty makes your organization unappealing to a casual cyber criminal, who’d rather spend that time with multiple easy targets than one challenging one. Multiple modalities, particularly those that use at least one Out of Band authentication method, also provide insurance against phishing attempts trying to bypass two factor authentication. 

A 2FA code can be spoofed with SIM swapping. Facial authentication with anti spoofing technology...not so much! 

Set Your Organization Up for Successful Cybersecurity 

Your company’s cybersecurity is only as strong as the person with the weakest password. By replacing passwords with multi factor authentication, especially leveraging biometric login, you reduce your risk and improve user experience in a single move. 

No more phishing, no risk of credential theft, and an overall improved cybersecurity posture. Everyone wins. 

It’s also easier to accomplish than you might think. 

See a live installation of GoVerifyID, complete with a user enrollment, by registering for the on demand demo video here

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