Hardware authentication, especially biometrics, is undergoing metamorphosis
18 December 2001
New research released by IDC indicates that two major trends are emerging within the hardware and biometric authentication markets since the September 11 events.
"Software platforms that support a heterogeneous mix of biometrics, tokens and smart cards promise to boost security, reduce cost, and improve convenience" said Chris Christiansen, program vice president of IDC's Internet Infrastructure and Security Software services. "Physical security
and surveillance technologies are coalescing with both hardware and
software authentication technologies. The events of September 11 only served to accelerate these market trends."
Physical and Information Security Combines Forces
The need to determine who individuals are and the functions they are permitted
to perform has become paramount. IDC believes that the use of biometrics technology will reinforce and not replace current authentication methods such
Companies will adopt multiple authentication methods, predicts IDC, including both biometric hardware and software solutions, to ensure a higher confidence in an individual's identity.
Biometrics and other hardware authentication technologies will also bridge
the current gap between physical and network access. The ability to ensure that
only authorized individuals can enter a building, visit restricted departments,
and utilize networked resources will be critical to reducing security threats.
The Shift Towards Biometric Software Solutions
The worldwide biometrics technology market reached $118.8 million in 2000
and will continue to increase over the next five years at a compound annual growth rate of 50%. IDC believes this market has changed focus with the movement towards providing software-only solutions for authentication needs,
which signifies the market's desire for convenient installation solutions. In
many cases, authentication vendors are de-emphasizing hardware, partnering
with consumer products manufacturers, and building technology-agnostic
authentication software platforms.
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