Without outwardly promoting it, Windows 10 introduces enterprise users to embedded multi-factor authentication options on the device with Windows Hello for Business. As organizations worldwide are incorporating multi-factor authentication policies to meet compliance requirements, enhance security, dissuade fraudsters or create audit trails, Windows 10 offers some built-in options that leverage the user’s biometric identity.
Most every organization is focused on security to protect online assets and ultimately the brand. Windows 10 Biometric authentication became consumerized when Apple added it to the earlier versions of the iPhone. Apple is credited with demystifying a technology that was previously thought of as a technology solely used by law enforcement. Millions of millennials and alike said “yes” and embraced the iTouch identification method. Facial recognition is also a natural extension of the biometric sign-in experience. Microsoft recognized that generations of consumers were “taking selfies” to share and post on social media, so why not put those cameras and faces to better use by making them a sign-in feature?
For enterprise customers it’s important to understand the value of biometric authentication. Unlike passwords, your fingerprint can’t be lost, stolen or shared. Unlike proximity cards or tokens, they can’t be lost and don’t come with a renewable annual fee.
Fingerprint authentication already has a significant enterprise footprint and has been tested and proven by customers in financial services, manufacturing, healthcare, education, retail and government. Therefore, of the two biometric sign-in options included in Windows Hello for Business, fingerprint will be the preferred choice for enterprise customers.
There are several options for Windows Hello users to leverage the biometric sign-in experience. For just $39.99 customers can purchase a fingerprint scanner that’s been tested and qualified to operate with Windows Hello and immediately sign-in to the device after enrolling. The sensor allows the user to circumvent the password process and sign-in with a simple touch of their fingertip. Customers love this feature but demanded more. After experiencing the static free ease of biometric sign-in, customers wanted to expand the experience across all Windows apps. ID Director for Windows does just that. There are also a percentage of organizations that operate proprietary apps / files and need certain personnel to have privileged access to secure data, to address these requirements the solution is WEB-key 4.0
When users simply use the fingerprint sensor for device sign-in or to access Windows Hello apps, the biometrics are stored on the local device only and are not centralized into the directory or some other authentication source. For organizations calling for broader, more secure access, biometric credentials can be stored locally on a server, remotely on a server or stored in the cloud.
At BIO-key we say, “Be yourself, because everyone else is taken.” Windows 10 allows you to “be yourself.”
As of May 2018, Microsoft stated that there are more than 200 million enterprise customers using Windows 10. While this is a significant number, but it will grow multifold as Windows 7 is scheduled to cease operating in January 2020. The migration to Windows 10 represents a unique opportunity for hundreds of millions of enterprise users to incorporate biometrics as part of their everyday sign-in process. Additionally, one might imagine that they will want to have that same frictionless sign-in experience when they are at home using their personal devices.
Let’s keep in mind that one of the most significant online advances has been “speed.” Larger bandwidth means images and videos appear crisp, clear and in real time. Some might recall the early days of dial-up downloads, when you could make a sandwich, while waiting for one image to appear on the screen and viewing a video was tirelessly tedious.
Today speed is king. Not only can we move from site to site and image to image at lightspeed, we can search for any question in the world and Google will provide answers in a second. Speed is another key advantage for biometric sign-in. In most cases, customers using fingerprint sign-in are identified in less than a second, try typing your password that fast!
Ultimately, signing-in with our finger or face will be commonplace for hundreds of millions of consumers and enterprise customers. The password, known for being cumbersome and providing friction to users gaining fast access, will head into the sunset along with other dying, less purposeful technologies. Our biometric will become our primary form of identification and it makes sense doesn’t it? At BIO-key we say, “Be yourself, because everyone else is taken.” Windows 10 allows you to “be yourself.”