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Biometrics are booming as businesses work from home

biometrics
(Image credit: Image source: Shutterstock/Anton Watman)

As plenty of cybersecurity experts have already asserted, working remotely significantly increases the risk of a data breach or various cyberattacks. As a result, many organizations have ramped up their security efforts, in a bid to stay both secure and operational.

Duo Security, the Cisco-owned multi-factor authentication and secure access provider, analyzed 26 million devices used for work and 700 million monthly user authentication events and found that authentication activity towards technologies such as VPNs and RDPs has swelled 60 percent.

According to the report, SMS is slowly being phased out as the go-to tool for multi-factor authentication. Duo Security claims SIM swapping has become too prevalent and that year-on-year, the percentage of organizations enforcing a policy to disallow SMS authentication nearly doubled from 8.7 to 16.1 percent.

At the same time, biometrics are booming. Today, they are “nearly ubiquitous” across enterprise users, Duo Security claims, suggesting businesses are edging closer to a passwordless future. Eighty percent of mobile devices used for work have biometrics configured, up 12 percent compared to half a decade ago.

BYOD was an important factor to business continuity in the first few months of the pandemic, the report said. As a result, blocked access attempts due to out-of-date devices skyrocketed 90 percent in March.

“As the pandemic began, the priority for many organizations was keeping the lights on and accepting risk in order to accomplish this end,” said Dave Lewis, Global Advisory CISO, Duo Security at Cisco.

“Attention has now turned towards lessening risk by implementing a more mature and modern security approach that accounts for a traditional corporate perimeter that has been completely upended.”