November 11, 2023

Anonybit Team

Why Are Biometric MFA The Solution To Enhanced Security?


Biometric Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) has become vital to safeguarding online identities and ensuring information security. Imagine the peace of mind that comes with knowing that an irrefutable form of identity validation isis protecting your sensitive data. If you’re curious about how biometric authentication techniques can benefit your enterprise, read this blog, which details various methods and technologies, including facial recognition and fingerprint scans.

Looking for a user-friendly identity management platform to help you navigate the complexities of biometric MFA? Look no further than Anonybit’s solution, which seamlessly integrates various privacy-preserving biometric authentication techniques to bolster your information security.

What Is Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)?

woman waiting for her 2fa code - Biometric MFA

Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) is like adding an additional lock to your door and your regular key. It just keeps your stuff safer. MFA is a security mechanism that requires people to provide more than just their passwords when they login to a website or app. This is because passwords can be stolen, but ‘something are’ is unique to you, and combining that with something you know or something you have is nearly impossible to spoof. 

Three Layers of Security

Something You Know

This asks for something only you should know, like a secret word or PIN.

Something You Have

This asks for something you should have, like your phone or a hardware token.

Something You Are

This asks for something unique to you, like your fingerprint or face. 

Two Steps for Stronger Security

As an example, to access your account:

  • First, enter your password and username (something you know). 
  • You get a unique code that is sent to your phone (something you have). 
  • You provide a biometric sample to demonstrate inherence. 

Using Multi Factor Authentication

MFA keeps your data safe, whether it’s your bank, email, or favorite social media. Even if someone manages to get your password, they still can’t get in because they need that extra piece of the puzzle. It’s like having a secret decoder ring to access your account.

Hackers are always trying to break in; MFA is like having an extra lock on the door, a password, and a secret key to enter. This extra hurdle stops them in their tracks before they even get near your precious data. In an age where hackers are getting smarter, it’s like having a secret door that only you have the key to.

Why Is Multi-Factor Authentication Important?

multiple people on phone - Biometric MFA

More and more people are signing up for digital services online – for example, 27% of British adults have opened an account with an online-only bank (that’s 14 million people) – and they all expect a seamless user journey. However, at the same time, fraud is rising, and organizations must be vigilant.

Account Takeover Fraud (ATO) on the Rise

Digital fraud is a very real threat and is growing more sophisticated by the day. For example, account takeover fraud (ATO) is a widespread problem. ATO fraudsters gain unauthorized access to a genuine user’s account, usually for financial gain, often using techniques such as credential stuffing to scale these attacks. 

Strengthening Security with Multiple Verification Factors

Multi-factor authentication (MFA) is a robust security mechanism that requires users to provide two or more verification factors to gain access to an application. The combination of these factors – something the user knows, something the user has, and something the user is – makes it difficult for attackers to obtain unauthorized access. MFA is especially vital in biometric authentication since it ensures the highest level of security for user accounts. In essence, MFA acts as a security barrier that an attacker will find difficult to breach, as it demands multiple forms of verification from the user. 

Combining Security with User Convenience

By combining biometric authentication methods, like facial recognition, fingerprints, and voice recognition, MFA makes it incredibly challenging for a hacker to mimic a user’s multiple biometric traits. This means a potential attacker would need access to a user’s device and be able to present their physical traits like their face, fingerprint, or voice. As such, MFA significantly enhances security without inconveniencing the user. 

MFA Combats Digital Fraud

According to a report by Finder, digital fraud is on the rise, with incidents like account takeover fraud becoming more widespread. ATO fraudsters often use credential stuffing techniques to gain unauthorized access to a user’s account, leading to financial gain. In such scenarios, MFA plays a vital role in preventing unauthorized access to user accounts, thereby curbing fraud. By requiring multiple biometric verification factors, MFA establishes a strong level of security. 

Securing Digital Identities in Unsecured Environments

The need for robust authentication mechanisms is evident as most interactions occur remotely, through unsecured networks, and via different locations. In this context, MFA ensures that the physical person is securely bound to their digital identity, making it difficult for malicious hackers to gain unauthorized access. The aim is to establish trust and security online under challenging conditions, limiting fraud through stronger authentication.

Anonybit’s Integrated Identity Management Platform for Enhanced Security

Not all organizations successfully implement MFA. Companies should invest in an integrated identity management platform like Anonybit to secure digital identities. At Anonybit, we help companies prevent data breaches and account takeover fraud with our decentralized biometrics system design. With a decentralized biometrics solution, companies can enable passwordless login, wire verification, step-up authentication, and help desk authentication. We aim to protect companies from data breaches, account takeover, and synthetic identity fraud.

To achieve this goal, we offer security solutions such as:

  • Secure storage of biometrics and PII data
  • Support for the entire user lifecycle
  • 1:1 biometric authentication and 1:N biometric matching to prevent duplicates, synthetics, and blocklisted identities 

Anonybit eliminates the tradeoffs between privacy and security. Prevent data breaches, enable strong authentication to eliminate account takeovers, and enhance the user experience across the enterprise using Anonybit. 

Book a free demo today to learn more about our integrated identity management platform.

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Biometric MFA: 5 Reasons Why Biometrics Are The Solution For Multi-Factor Authentication

woman writing reasons - Biometric MFA

1. Reduce friction in the user experience

Biometric authentication contributes to a more user-friendly experience by reducing friction during the login process. Many traditional multi-factor authentication methods add time and effort to the login process, frustrating users. 

Frictionless Security with High Accuracy

Biometric authentication, specifically passwordless authentication, provides near-perfect accuracy with virtually no friction. Users can simply take a quick selfie or scan their palm, and in most cases, this happens automatically and so fast that it goes unnoticed. 

Mobile-Independent Biometrics

Enterprise-grade biometrics are independent of the mobile device, which allows the device to still be used as a possession factor. This form of multi-factor authentication using biometrics offers a highly secure, passwordless user experience.

2. Fight social engineering and decrease Account Takeovers

Biometric authentication is more secure than knowledge authentication, which is highly susceptible to social engineering attacks. Phishing attacks have increased significantly, with Google reporting a 350 percent rise in phishing websites during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Attackers can use personal information available online or on the Dark Web to reset passwords, trick contact center agents, or hack accounts. Biometrics are excellent for fighting fraud as they are inherently linked to the user, providing a reliable factor for re-authentication even if the user is locked out of their account or has a new device.

3. Clean up the password hygiene problem

The average user has 70-80 accounts with passwords, leading to a significant password hygiene problem. Studies show that many users forget passwords frequently, resorting to password reuse or recycling, which increases the risk of compromised accounts.

Bad password hygiene is not just a customer issue; it also poses a significant security threat to organizations, especially when privileged account access is breached. Biometric authentication eliminates the risk associated with passwords as it cannot be lost, forgotten, or shared, enhancing security while reducing help desk costs and user frustration.

4. Detect more fraud

Passwords can be hacked, and personal information used in knowledge authentication can be easily found online, making these authentication methods susceptible to fraud. Fraudsters use various tactics, including SIM swapping, to intercept one-time passcodes and gain unauthorized access to accounts.

Biometric authentication, coupled with liveness detection technology, can mitigate these risks by detecting fraudsters in real time and protecting against biometric spoofing attacks involving recorded or synthesized voice, printed photos, video replays, and masks.

5. Combine different authentication methods for even stronger security

Pairing multiple biometric modalities in an authentication process enhances security in higher-risk scenarios without significantly increasing user effort. For example, combining palm biometrics or selfie recognition with device identification significantly increases the security level compared to using device identification alone.

Adding a second biometric factor to authentication processes strengthens security in high-risk scenarios while still maintaining a user-friendly experience. By combining biometrics with other factors like a user’s device, organizations can achieve strong user authentication, as recommended by security experts and organizations like NIST.

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What Are The Risks Of Multi-Factor Authentication?

person on wall with risks associated with Biometric MFA

The biggest risk with MFA is that it will negatively impact the user experience. Every step in an online user journey is a potential opportunity for friction and drop-off. Each added step is also a potential issue for inclusion, as it increases the cognitive demands on the user.

This is a significant problem for organizations. Shoppers are inclined to abandon transactions if they take too long to check out, assuming the MFA process doesn’t abandon the transaction for them. Device identification is a silent authenticator, and combining it with convenient biometrics like selfies or palm modalities mitigates friction.

Declined Transactions Cost Retailers and Frustrated Consumers

Barclaycard research found that in February 2022 alone, more than 1.2m online transactions worth more than £100m were declined during the authentication process, resulting in retailers’ lost sales. About 14% of shoppers noticed an increase in their online payments being declined, and 37% headed to another retailer to complete their purchase.

However, higher security does not have to mean low usability (and vice versa). The best way to deliver enhanced security with high usability is by going passwordless – which is an Anonybit advantage.

The Role Of Liveness In Biometric MFA

man working with a friend - Biometric MFA

Liveness detection is a critical component of biometric verification that enhances the security of biometric authentication. It ensures that an online user is real by detecting if the face being presented to the camera is a live human being. This feature plays a crucial role in preventing fraud and enhancing security measures as it helps to foil potential spoofing attempts. Criminals could bypass the authentication process without liveness technology by using masks, photographs, and other presentation attacks. 

Liveness Detection Technology in Biometric Authentication

Choosing a biometric factor, such as something you are for multi-factor authentication, brings numerous advantages. Not all liveness detection technologies are the same. Various solutions are available that deliver varying levels of assurance. Choose the right biometric vendor to guarantee the effectiveness of the liveness technology.

Security and Spoofing Prevention

By incorporating liveness detection into biometric authentication processes, individuals can rest assured that their biometric data is accurately verified. This additional layer of security significantly reduces the risk of unauthorized access to sensitive information.

Liveness detection measures also diminish the risk of spoofing, making it harder for malicious hackers to compromise security and gain unauthorized access to systems or data. Implementing liveness detection in biometric authentication processes is vital for bolstering security measures and protecting sensitive data and information.

Book A Free Demo To Learn More About Our Integrated Identity Management Platform

At Anonybit, we help companies prevent data breaches and account takeover fraud with our decentralized biometrics technology. With our decentralized biometrics framework, companies can enable passwordless login, wire verification, step-up authentication, help desk authentication, and more. 

Comprehensive Security Solutions for Companies

We aim to protect companies from data breaches, account takeovers, and synthetic identity on the rise, privacy regulations, and digital transformation. To achieve this goal, we offer security solutions such as:

  • Secure storage of biometrics and PII data
  • Support for the entire user lifecycle
  • 1:1 authentication and 1:N matching for lookups and deduplication

Balancing Privacy and Security with Anonybit’s Integrated Platform

Anonybit eliminates the tradeoffs between privacy and security. Prevent data breaches, reduce account takeover fraud, and enhance the user experience across the enterprise using Anonybit. Book a free demo today to learn more about our integrated identity management platform.

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