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Security: How Your Fingerprints Are Used

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Greg Sarrail

Your fingers have never been more important – they can unlock doors, open phones and even secure your savings, explains Greg Sarrail, Vice President, Solutions Business Development, Biometrics, HID Global in this article exclusive to Nigeria CommunicationsWeek.

Fingerprint scanners are considered the second most popular biometric devices by consumers around the world according to research undertaken by the 2016 Future Password Index. This research was defined by how interested people were in using fingerprints to verify their identity when handling their devices, banking and other forms of security.

Fingerprint biometrics saw a steady rise in popularity from 2014 to 2016 and remains one of the most trusted on the market today.

It is a trend that isn’t going to change anytime soon and this is further underscored by the rise in fingerprint scanners, ATMs, devices and solutions. Your fingerprint has become a coded key that only you can wield.

People are being asked for their fingerprints on a daily basis. When you go to work, transact at your bank, and when you apply for certain government documents.

Biometrics even play a fundamental role in the criminal justice system. However, not all biometric systems are created equal. There are important differences between specific systems, their capabilities, the data they access and the data they share.

Some biometric solutions are not linked to a shared network, so you could transact at your bank or enter your office park with your unique identity, but this information will not be shared anywhere else. The data is captured and secured by each individual system to ensure absolute security and controlled access.

In addition, it is important to know the difference between biometric verification and biometric identification as their applications vary, as do their relevance to your security. When undertaking biometric identification, you are asking – ‘Who am I?’

Whereas with biometric verification you are asking – ‘Am I who I claim to be?’ For example, once your fingerprint has been submitted to a specific database, an identification application would compare it against a larger database of fingerprints that are associated with identities. If your fingerprint is found within that database, then the question of ‘Who am I?’ has been answered.  This is biometric identification in a very simple nutshell.

When it comes to biometric verification and proving an identity, there is a need to add in some extra factors that can support the process and make it more secure. These can be account numbers, credit cards, or even smart devices.

The system then pulls up the biometric data associated with your fingerprint and attempts to make a match. It’s important to note that the verification process doesn’t examine all fingerprint data for all users to find a match. Instead it checks to see if the fingerprint template that’s presented to the system is the same one that was originally enrolled, and it provides a quick answer.

Biometric verification is very quick and is often used in commercial applications. It is private and efficient and often requires two-factor authentication – something you have or know plus your fingerprint that identifies who you are.

Enrolling and verifying individuals using this process doesn’t demand huge processing power and is ideally suited to the growing trend in enterprise mobility.

Users can simply store their own biometric data on their own devices for privacy, portability and convenience. Of the two types of biometric application, this is the simplest and most easily found on smaller devices and has recently grown in popularity within the consumer space.

When you use your finger to access your phone, this is defined as biometric verification. The device uses your singular print stored in its database to confirm that you are who you claim to be, further backed up by passwords and PIN numbers.

Biometric identification is more complex and requires a system that’s advanced and comprehensive. An example of this would be when you access your bank account using a biometric pad at the teller, or when you are applying for specific government papers and the system checks your fingerprint against a vast database of prints and identities.

Biometric verification is the hurdle you jump to prove that you are who you say you are, biometric identification is when a system identifies you from within a vast database.

Both systems are invaluable when it comes to protecting your identity and assets, but the latter demands a level of sophistication in technology to manage a significantly larger database and it is prohibitive for more basic devices and biometric systems.

Whether you are about to use biometrics to identify or verify, your fingerprint remains your own proof of who you are. It is unique to you and you alone, and it is your highly personalised key to unlocking your world.

 Quoted sources: http://www.paymentscardsandmobile.com/consumer-demand-banks-adopt-biometric-technology-doubles/

 

 

Nigeria CommunicationsWeek believes that technology makes life more exciting and helps improve the lives of people around Nigeria and indeed the world. So since 2007, we have devoted our energy to independent reportage of technology and how they affect lives.

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IPV6 Council Nigeria @ Internet Solutions Harps on Early Migration

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L-r Chairman, Communication & Advocacy Committee (CAC) IPv6 Council Nigeria, Remmy Nweke, Council Member, Chief Chris Uwaje, Finance Manager, Internet Solutions (IS), Safiriyu Abiodun Rosenje, Chairman, IPv6 Council Nigeria, Mr. Muhammed Rudman, Project Manager IS, Ms Ifeoma Egbe, Head, Network Operations, Mr. George Olunwa, and member CAC, Mr. Chike Onwuegbusi, during a courtesy visit by IPv6 Council Nigeria to Internet Solutions, recently in Lagos

Internet Protocol Version Six (IPv6) Council in Nigeria has harped on the need for early migration and adoption, as part of its mandate and effort in creating awareness among service providers in the nation Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector.

 

Speaking during a courtesy visit to Internet Solution Nigeria, a leading Internet Service Provider in the country, Mr. Muhammed Rudman, council chairman, noted that the visit was designed to interact with Internet Solutions Nigeria, which the Council believes could be paving the way towards the realization of IPV6 migration, which is seen globally to provide enhanced Internet service experience.

 

Rudman decried the low level of IPv6 ready networks, as well as usage in Nigeria, despite the fact that the country occupied first and eight positions in internet usage in Africa and the world respectively.

 

“We are worried that some countries in Africa have started migrating to IPv6 networks, yet Nigeria that prides itself as number one in terms of Internet usage in Africa is not making a serious move,” he said.

 

He commended Internet Solutions for deploying IPv6 on its network and urged other service providers in the country to consider migrating to IPv6 for Nigeria to maintain its position in Africa and move higher in the global ranking.

 

He also said that migrating to IPV6 would create more robust and realtime end-to-end Internet connectivity and avert the possible blockade from the exhaustion of Internet Protocol Version Four (IPv4) addresses.

 

Responding, Mr. George Olunwa, head, Network Operations at Internet Solutions, said that Internet Solutions, has since deployed and advertised IPv6 block on the Internet, but the challenge is largely apathy from the enterprise customers, who are yet to see a pressing need for the implementation of IPV6 on their networks.

 

While thanking the IPV6 Council Nigeria for the advocacy visit and efforts so far, Olunwa assured that Internet Solutions would continue to push the idea of implementing IPv6 to its customers, admitting that the cost of migrating from IPv4 to IPv6 is next to nothing.

 

“What we have seen is that most of the clients are still going for IPV4, even though the cost of getting IPv6 is minimal. But, we believe that with this sort of advocacy being carried out by the IPv6  Council Nigeria, service providers as well as enterprise networks will begin to see a need for the deployment.

 

He also suggested a possibility of providing virtual lab for IPv6 within country, saying that will assist towards capacity building which can help to upscale the deployment and adoption of IPV6.

 

IPv6 is the most recent version of IP, the communications protocol that provides an identification and location system for computers on networks and routes traffic across the internet.

 

An Internet Protocol (IP) address is essentially a postal address for each and every Internet-connected device. Without one, websites will not know where to send the information each time a person performs a search or try to access a website.

 

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NESG Challenge: Accenture Gives Free Technology, Advisory Services To L & L Foods, Accounteer & MyPadi.ng

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By peter oluka

Three companies that emerged tops at the recently held Nigerian Economic Summit Group start-up pitch in Abuja will receive free technology and business grooming services from Accenture.

Mr. Niyi Yusuf, the country managing director for Accenture Nigeria, who confirmed this in an interview with our correspondent in Abuja, said the grooming service was the company’s contribution to the emergence of future business giants.

Yusuf said, “Conventionally, Accenture works with large companies; but this is our own way of contributing to the nation’s development. We have been part of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group since inception 24 years ago.

“Now that NESG is looking at promotion of indigenous entrepreneurs who can be globally relevant and globally competitive, Accenture’s role in that process is to provide free advisory services on how to redefine their business model.”

He also said, “That is our own way of contributing to the development of the nation and building the next generation of entrepreneurs who will hopefully have big companies in the future that can then become clients of Accenture.

“Accenture will work with them for three to six months to redefine their business models and make them more attractive to investors. Access to capital is an issue. As we work with them, they should stand a better chance of getting investors. Money is the lifeline of the business.”

The start-up pitch event hosted by NESG saw three companies emerging tops from an initial list of more than 260 start-ups. The three companies are L & L Foods, Accounteer and MyPadi.ng.

L & L Foods, which won $15,000 for coming first, distributes peanuts; Accounteer, which won $10,000, helps business owners to manage their administration and help the businesses to professionalise, grow, and automate their administrative processes; while MyPadi.ng, which won $5,000, is a hostel booking platform.

Yusuf said for a start-up to succeed, it needs to be driven by people who had passion and competence while the business must be addressing problems relevant to the environment.

According to him, for a business to attract investors, the business needs to be driven by a team rather than an individual.

The Accenture boss said investors were more interested in investing in businesses founded and run by teams because teams would make for cross fertilisation of ideas as well as longevity of business.

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Reasons Kaspersky Lab Is Opening Three Transparency Centers Worldwide

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By peter oluka

Kaspersky Lab has announced the launch of its Global Transparency Initiative (GTI) as part of its ongoing commitment to protecting customers from cyberthreats, regardless of their origin or purpose.

With this Initiative, Kaspersky Lab will engage the broader information security community and other stakeholders in validating and verifying the trustworthiness of its products, internal processes, and business operations, as well as introducing additional accountability mechanisms by which the company can further demonstrate that it addresses any security issues promptly and thoroughly.

As part of the Initiative, the company intends to provide the source code of its software – including software updates and threat-detection rules updates – for independent review and assessment.

As society today depends ever more on information and communications technologies (ICT), cyberthreats continue to proliferate and evolve. Because of the frenetic pace of both ICT deployment and the expansion of the threat landscape, Kaspersky Lab believes that increased cooperation to protect cyberspace is more crucial than ever.

Trust is essential in cybersecurity, and therefore trust should be the foundation of any collaboration among those seeking to secure individuals, organisations and enterprises from cyberthreats.

However, Kaspersky Lab also recognises that trust is not a given; it must be repeatedly earned through an ongoing commitment to transparency and accountability.

Kaspersky Lab’s Global Transparency Initiative is a reaffirmation of the company’s commitment to earning and maintaining the trust of the company’s customers and partners every day. The company has never taken this trust for granted, but it wants to strive for continuous improvement in every way it can.

The initial phase of Kaspersky Lab’s Global Transparency Initiative will include:

The start of an independent review of the company’s source code by Q1 2018, with similar reviews of the company’s software updates and threat detection rules to follow;

The commencement of an independent assessment of (i) the company’s secure development lifecycle processes, and (ii) its software and supply chain risk mitigation strategies by Q1 2018;

The development of additional controls to govern the company’s data processing practices in coordination with an independent party that can attest to the company’s compliance with said controls by Q1 2018;

The formation of three Transparency Centers globally, with plans to establish the first one in 2018, to address any security issues together with customers, trusted partners and government stakeholders; the centers will serve as a facility for trusted partners to access reviews on the company’s code, software updates, and threat detection rules, along with other activities. The Transparency Centers will open in Asia, Europe and the U.S. by 2020.

The increase of bug bounty awards up to $100,000 for the most severe vulnerabilities found under the company’s Coordinated Vulnerability Disclosure program to further incentivise independent security researchers to supplement our vulnerability detection and mitigation efforts, by the end of 2017.

In addition to launching this initial phase of its Global Transparency Initiative, Kaspersky Lab looks forward to engaging with its stakeholders and the information security community to determine what the next phase of the initiative – commencing in H2 2018 – should include.

Speaking of the need for this new initiative, Eugene Kaspersky, chairman and CEO of Kaspersky Lab, said: “Internet balkanisation benefits no one except cybercriminals. Reduced cooperation among countries helps the bad guys in their operations, and public-private partnerships don’t work like they should. The internet was created to unite people and share knowledge. Cybersecurity has no borders, but attempts to introduce national boundaries in cyberspace is counterproductive and must be stopped.

“We need to reestablish trust in relationships between companies, governments and citizens. That’s why we’re launching this Global Transparency Initiative: we want to show how we’re completely open and transparent. We’ve nothing to hide. And I believe that with these actions we’ll be able to overcome mistrust and support our commitment to protecting people in any country on our planet.”

Kaspersky Lab will share details of the Initiative’s progress and additional activities regularly.

By collaborating with its various stakeholders, Kaspersky Lab hopes that its customers and partners will join it on this journey.

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