Block Stars: Biometric Authentication Will Help You Forget Your Passwords

In the latest episode of Block Stars, Ripple CTO David Schwartz talks to the founders of Keyless, a deep-tech cybersecurity company whose innovative solutions in authentication and digital identity could have a big impact on the cryptocurrency experience.

Most people and businesses say they care about security and privacy. But these issues are often sacrificed for the sake of convenience or not even an option if you’re using popular online services and social networks.

“[When security] adds any friction in the user experience, you stop using it,” explains Keyless co-founder Fabian Eberle. “The cookie policies and all those popups…you just click yes…it’s just another friction that you need to adhere with.”

Fabian believes that the biggest friction surrounding security and privacy is the authentication process that everyone uses multiple times a day: passwords.

“Authentication and identity management are quite broken,” he says. “Forced to remember dozens, if not hundreds of unique passwords and pins to access our online services, we’re constantly faced with this trade-off between prioritizing either privacy and security versus convenience.”

Opting for more convenient sign-in tools like Google, Twitter or Facebook Connect mean that users give up control of their data. Additional measures like two-step authentication simply add more friction to online activities. While the system is cumbersome and time-consuming for individuals, it’s costly for business, especially now that the COVID-19 crisis has exposed the vulnerabilities of employees working from home.

“There’s a lot fewer security defenses when you’re working from home,” continues Fabian. “The network security of your wi-fi isn’t as good as your corporate network. 80% of all data breaches involve weak or stolen passwords.”

Keyless’ innovative solution uses biometrics to help businesses embrace passwordless digital identities and protect remote workforces, while also providing customers with a robust authentication process. The company’s goal is to bring technology like face recognition and behavioral biometrics to all digital interactions, especially for businesses.

“Password resets are expensive,” adds Keyless co-founder Paolo Gasti. “Users being locked out of their accounts are expensive, they can’t do their work. Exploitation of credentials, credential stuffing, phishing, impersonation, all these are really, really expensive attacks. If there were a better way to do authentication, these problems would go away. We’re taking biometric authentication with privacy and using it to get a secure way to do key management.”

More convenient and secure logins are just the first benefit of better identity management. Check out episode four of Block Stars to hear Paolo and Fabian discuss the game-changing potential of biometrics for cryptocurrency users, why it could make getting a driving license better and how it gives people more control of their personal data.