Category: Mobile Security

Biometric mobile security authentication used by 1 in 5 Brits

A new Deloitte study revealed that smartphone users in the country are using fingerprints as passwords.

British smartphone users have adopted biometric mobile security methods to a significant degree. Deloitte released a study indicating that 20 percent of smartphone users in Great Britain authenticate using fingerprints. This suggests that the general public is becoming increasingly comfortable with the concept.

The mobile security study was conducted with the participation of 4,000 consumers across Great Britain.

The biometric mobile security study was called “There’s no place like phone.” That report determined that among the respondents, 63 percent were using PINs and passwords for mobile phone authentication. Another 21 percent were using mobile device fingerprint sensors for that purpose.

Biometric Mobile Security - fingerprint scanningThe report stated, “We expect ownership of fingerprint readers to continue increasing rapidly.” It also added that “Many millions of people are likely to acquire a handset with a fingerprint reader over the coming year (either as a new or second-hand phone) and some people who currently have a fingerprint reader may start using it, as more apps offer this functionality.”

The report provided a number of reasons that biometric mobile security may be stronger than other forms.

It pointed out that using fingerprint authentication technology is quick, simple and inconspicuous. Moreover, its successful completion isn’t dependent on certain ambient conditions as is the case with many other forms of biometrics. Bright sunlight, for example, doesn’t reduce the effectiveness of this method. Similarly, a noisy room won’t change the accuracy of the scan. That said, according to the report, 2 percent of participants did use facial recognition or voice recognition to authenticate.

The outcome of this study is not unlike those from a prior Visa Europe study. That research indicated that people in Great Britain feel that they can trust government agencies and banks to keep their biometric data safe. As a result, they feel that they aren’t risking unauthorized access of their biometric mobile security data.

When those consumers were asked if they would trust this type of mobile security technology to confirm their identity, 85 percent said they would trust it with their banks. Another 81 percent would trust this method with certain payment methods. Seventy percent trust global online brands with this method. Finally, 64 percent said they would use this with their smartphone companies.

No mobile security used by half of UK’s university students

Intel Security is now calling for improved cybersecurity education resources in the United Kingdom.

Hundreds of thousands of university students in the United Kingdom use no mobile security whatsoever on their smartphones. As a result, they are living their devices – and everything they contain – at a high risk of unauthorized access.

Intel Security is hoping to reach more students with a message of the importance of adequate mobile protection.

This year’s estimates were that there were more than 420,000 students in the United Kingdom headed to university with the start of this school year. However, a new Intel Security poll has pointed out that only half of them will have packed adequate smartphone protection with them when they go. This means that the other half of the university students in the U.K. have no mobile security software installed to protect their devices and their data.

With no mobile security software, these students are placing their devices at a very real risk.

No Mobile Security - Students with mobile phoneThe reason is that among those who took part in the poll, 90 percent said they log onto public WiFi. Those hotspots are accessed both on campus and off campus. This activity places them at a much higher exposure to mobile security threats. Without any protection software, they are essentially an open book for unauthorized parties to read.

Furthermore, according to the most recent data from the McAfee Labs Quarterly Threat Report, mobile malware is increasing at an explosive rate. Year over year, these mobile cybersecurity threats have risen by 150 percent.

On the other hand, while students may not have protected their devices yet, they are willing to learn. University students in the U.K. have expressed a desire to discover more about why having no mobile security is risky. They are also willing to learn more about related issues. Forty eight percent of the 1000 students who participated in the survey said they would be willing to attend an online security seminar if one were available.

According to Nick Viney, Intel Security VP consumer, this is a positive step, “Yet its concerning that many are still opening themselves up to risks unknowingly. When it comes to students’ online safety, we all have a responsibility.”