30 percent of companies will use biometric identification by 2016

30 percent of companies will use biometric identification by 2016

Summary: Whether it's BYOD or CYOD, the proliferation of mobile devices in the enterprise will trigger an explosion in biometric authentication technologies to safeguard corporate data and devices.


The relentless consumerization of enterprise IT policies and practices will extend to mobile device security over the next few years as more and more companies turn to biometric authentication technologies to lock down corporate data and devices.

A new Gartner report predicts that at least 30 percent of organizations will use technology similar to the Touch ID feature on the latest iteration of the iPhone to efficiently and effectively secure and manage mobile devices connected to their networks without irritating users in the process.

"Mobile users staunchly resist authentication methods that were tolerable on PCs and are still needed to bolster secure access on mobile devices," Ant Allan, a Gartner research vice president, said in the report. "Security leaders must manage users' expectations and take into account the user experience without comprising security."

Users who have become accustomed to using their mobile devices to securely make purchases – something Apple CEO Tim Cook identified as a key differentiator driving demand for the company's iPhone 5S – expect nothing less when they bring those devices to work or use company-issued smartphones and tablets.

In fact, as usual, the enterprise is already playing catch-up.

A recent Ericsson survey of more than 100,000 mobile users worldwide revealed that 74 percent of respondents expect biometric smartphones to become mainstream this year.

And it's not like BYOD or CYOD (choose your own device) is a passing fad. Forrester Research estimates that 70 percent of organizations already have a BYOD program and that 62 percent of smartphone users and 56 percent of tablet users brought their own devices into the workplace.

In its report, Gartner recommends that IT security leaders implement and evaluate biometric authentication methods where "higher-assurance" authentication is required and that they should be used in conjunction with passwords. Voice recognition, face topography, interface interactivity and iris structure are among the authentication modes companies should explore to improve security without significantly impacting user behavior.

Topics: Mobility, Emerging Tech, Security, BYOD and the Consumerization of IT


Larry Barrett is a freelance journalist and blogger who has covered the information technology and business sectors for more than 15 years.

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • If you thought Facebook and Google's theft of your data was bad ...

    Larry Barrett wrote: "30 percent of companies will use biometric identification by 2016"

    And 100% of intelligent people will refuse to go along with it.

    Here's the scenario. User X allows his biometrics to be copied and used in a validation scheme for an international corporation. A Russian or Chinese hacker accesses the database where the biometrics are stored --- or a company HR lush leaves his unencrypted laptop containing company data in a bar. From then on, User X will not be able to prove that he was not responsible for actions allowed via his biometrics. User X is SOL because he cannot change his biometrics. User X becomes unemployable because no company wants an employee who cannot use corporate systems. User X kills himself.
    • That story has already been done. It's called the

      Six Sillies.
      • Sorry. The Three Sillies

        That's the original fairy tale.
        • You completely missed the Target

          Ever wonder what would have happened if the hacked Target customers had lost their biometric data along with their debit/credit card numbers, email address, physical address, telephone number, and other data? No, I didn't think so.