Earlier in the year, we asked young people from all over the world what they thought the future connected society might look like – and in particular, how they envision the future of cybersecurity. As expected, fingerprints and iris scanning were popular, as were voice biometrics and facial recognition. But it was the 30% who thought our DNA could be used to unlock our phones that got us really thinking about what the future of digital security could hold.
DNA cryptography is a fascinating and fledgling field where ideas are only just being put into practice. The hope is that you can store vast amounts of data within DNA. A gram of DNA is the equivalent to 108 terabytes of data. So if you could hide data within the DNA, and then encrypt it, you could open up the possibility of a near impregnable security process.
But moving closer to reality, if there is one thing that consumers hate right now it’s trying to come up with, and remember, a secure password. We’ve covered this on the blog a number of times, and even have developed a guide for you to use. But frankly, we’re getting to the point that with so many websites and services needing a password, you’re likely better off with a password manager. But what if that was hacked?!
For some, the death of the password can’t come soon enough, but there are other ways to authenticate your identity which are vying to gain traction and acceptance.
- Fingerprints – the classic identifier that you probably use to unlock your phone. Likely to become more widespread.
- Behavioral analytics – this would create trusted profiles based on a number of known patterns of each user or customer, including their location, devices, online habits (such as click speed, etc.)
- Heartbeat – like fingerprints, no two beats are the same, and startup Nymi already has a product that’s shipped.
- Voice – MasterCard has successfully trialed customers’ voice prints to access services. As speaking to devices becomes more natural, expect to hear a lot more about this
- Selfies – read more here, but know they are coming
- Your walk, your nose, and even your ear – slightly more intimate!
Of course, the future of cybersecurity will continue to include multi-factor authentication, so companies are looking at ways to fundamentally alter how you log into their services. Google has just announced its Trust API. This platform is in early testing, but it hopes to put various indicators together to confidently predict whether the person logging into a service is the legitimate user.
These indicators could include your location, biometric information such as your face or voice, and even behavioral traits such as how you move, type and swipe the screen. The results would then be tallied up to give you a trust score which, if high enough, would let you automatically log into the service you want to use.
For companies, they are always thinking about the future of enterprise cybersecurity too. We recently covered how Google has done away with perimeter security and BYOD, accepting that perimeter breaches are inevitable. Their focus instead is protecting applications and the data they access. The erosion in the faith of the perimeter to safely protect corporations will shift thinking to how you can secure data at a deeper level. This approach could certainly figure in the future plans of corporations that can’t afford another hack.
It appears that the future of cybersecurity for consumers lies in a combination of biometric data and behavioral analytics (but be cognizant of the risks!), and a concentrated focus on encryption by enterprises to secure sensitive data. What’s certain is that in the future, we’re going to have to very careful with how we store, move, and access data.