Biometric Security: Is It The Future? (INFOGRAPHIC)

People want biometrics. They want biometrics to get access to their mobile devices so they don’t have to remember a pin or a password that keeps changing. They want biometrics to authorize payments from that mobile device so they can feel more secure if it’s lost or stolen. There’s just one problem - are biometrics really that secure?

We’ve all seen the action movies in which biometric security systems are easily bypassed. You can put on someone else’s face to fool face detection software or steal their fingerprints to bypass fingerprint identifiers.

The strange thing is that with today’s technology you can do both with photos. Smartphones with face unlock features have been shown to be hacked by photos of the phone’s owner on another device, such as a social media profile photo. Fingerprint scanners have been shown to be hacked by photos as well - taking a photo of someone waving from online, enlarging the fingerprint, and then using it to beat the system.

But these aren’t the only ways to beat biometric security, they are just the easiest. Printing out a photo of someone’s face and making a mask out of it works. It can also be beaten by family members that have similar facial features - even distant cousins have beaten this technology.

Movies make it look easy, but in real life it’s actually easier than it looks. At least for now.


One of the things that current biometric software is doing to ensure better security is cross-referencing a user’s biometrics with behavioral identifiers. Your phone knows when you typically use it, where you typically use it, and for how long. If someone is trying to pretend to be you, at least in theory they would have to be able to emulate your behaviors and your location, right down to how you hold your phone when you use it and your finger movements and gestures.

So biometric security is a little safer than just the biometrics itself, and it’s highly likely the technology will continue to improve.

For now, people still want to be able to use biometrics for a lot of different things. Biometrics are still harder to hack than passwords, it’s difficult to make an attempt without being noticed, faking it requires a huge amount of data, and because the tech isn’t standardized each device requires different knowledge.

Currently, 70% of people believe that biometrics are easier to use, while 46% believe they are more secure. 68% of iPhone users use biometrics to unlock their phones, while 25% of Android users do the same. 12% of people use biometrics with their laptops, while 11% use biometrics with their tablets. But what’s most astounding is that 42% of people won’t use a banking app unless biometric security is an option.


Fingerprint scanners are the most popular form of biometric security, and 48% of people have used biometric authentication to authorize a payment from their mobile device. People want to be able to use biometrics to authorize payments when they are in a store, which would theoretically cut down on fraud.

Today 57% of apps feature a biometric login option. As more things migrate to our phones - our calendars, our locations, where we go every day, who we talk to, the things we search for, and more - people are realizing they need stronger security to safeguard all of this very personal information that could easily put them in a compromising position if it were to be lost or stolen.

Is the future of security biometric or will something better come along? Will these technologies become more secure over time? Learn more about the future of biometric security below.

Is The Future Of Security Biometric? - Infographic

Read next: The Future of Facial Recognition (infographic)

Featured photo: Yui Mok/PA Images via Getty Images

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