“It's time we found ways to get rid of the password.” Bold claims from Malcolm Marshal, Global Head of Cyber Security Practice at KPMG. Passwords, while not perfect can deter any nefarious persons from gaining access to some of our most personal details. Now though, one global bank is stepping up its cyber security in a very youthful way.
HSBC will allow its business customers to open new accounts with a selfie, using facial recognition software to verify the person’s identity. In time, the verification method could also be used to grant access to the account and its facilities. It’s not dissimilar technology Microsoft introduced in Windows 10, with Windows Hello.
While you will still need a driver’s license or passport as an additional security measure, the selfie is being introduced to speed up existing processes. HSBC’s Head of Global Propositions for Commercial Backing, Richard Davies, has said:
Through simplifying the ID verification process, we’ll be able to save our business customers time and open accounts quicker. We also expect the convenience and speed of a selfie to become the verification method of choice for our customers, who no longer need to visit a branch to complete the process.
HSBC already incorporate fingerprint and voice recognition technologies for millions of its customers. When live, HSBC will join Mastercard in offering this method of identification verification to its customers.
Cyber Security is a continuously evolving beast, with attempted breaches happening to any and all global financial institutions on a daily basis. Most aren’t successful, but some are. And with the ability to be able to pay for your McDonalds with your iPhone, our data is more accessible than ever.
Going back to Malcom Marshall, he also said of passwords:
They are no longer viable and considering the extent of how much we live our lives online, we need to find ways to make ourselves more secure. After all, think of how many passwords we use and how hard it is to remember them all. Even I have had to constantly reset my passwords because I keep forgetting them.
It’s refreshing to hear this from an expert in the cyber security field. While some business continue to employ increasingly complex password policies, it’s nice to hear they have almost had their day. It’s not like they will be made completely redundant, but with technology’s evolution, even Windows 10 proves you don’t need a password to protect your data.