An Eye toward 2020

Date: 2019-11-25
Author: Carolina Martinez, General Manager Americas

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With the new year right around the corner, it's time to make a few predictions on the two-factor authentication trends our team at Versasec expects to see in 2020.

  • A resurgence of physical corporate badge use: This seemingly counterintuitive trend is less nostalgia than it is a commonsense approach to tightening security in SMBs and large organizations whose shareholders will not tolerate the financial hit and brand damage that comes with a breach. Physical badges ensure the "something you have" element of two-factor authentication, and when combined with the "something you know" element (typically a password) it's still one of the best means around for securely and verifiably authenticating people logically (computers), physically (doors) and visually (ID cards for guards).
  • Biometrics that make sense: The big fear surrounding using biometric elements for identification is that if they are ever compromised, the owner loses the ability to use that information again. We all have only one set of fingerprints, retinas and one face, after all. But biometric use will rise in 2020 and beyond as more and more companies rely on local authentication biometrics - in which the biometric patterns are stored in a way that keeps the user 100 percent in control - never putting the data onto a server.
  • Less reliance on passwords alone: "Password" "123456" and the dates of birth of the user's firstborn child are easily breached. That's giving rise to more options such as personal tokens like Yubikeys from Yubico and SafeNet cards from Thales that enable two-factor authentication (2FA) and passwordless authentication and more - particularly for individual users.
  • The rise of Windows Hello for Business (WHfB): Virtual smartcards are still on the rise. With Windows Hello for Business, built into Windows 10, passwords are replaced with strong 2FA on PCs and mobile devices. This authentication consists of a new type of user credential that is tied to a device and uses a biometric or PIN. As organizations upgrade to Windows 10, WHfB will become more popular in 2020.
  • More growth for FIDO Authentication: The FIDO Alliance continues its mission of reducing the world's reliance on passwords to better secure the web. The group's efforts continue around the essential aspects of the digital identity lifecycle management, such as identity verification for initial account onboarding and account recovery, and user and device authentication. In 2020, we can expect to see more products built around FIDO's public key cryptography for authentication that is more secure than passwords and SMS one-time passwords and that are easy for customers to use.
  • Better validation for news authenticity: One of the most prominent catchphrases in the US and globally for the last few years is "Fake news!" In 2020, we expect to see an increase in solutions that help quickly and easily verify the origin - including both location and producer - of the media, whether photo, audio or video.

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