Touch screen mobile devices require something better than passwords

Mobile devices are increasingly the go-to computing platform for both enterprise and general consumers, yet the problem is they are far easier to loose than the traditional laptop or desktop. This means they require methods of authentication that are both more secure and easy to use.

At last week’s AT&T Cyber Security Conference in New York, NYU-Poly computer science professor Nasir Memon discussed some of his latest research into touch-based authentication for mobile devices as a possible replacement for traditional text-based passwords.

Because mobiles are increasingly used to conduct financial transactions and store sensitive data, coupled with the fact that they are far easier to misplace, Memon said we need more rigorous forms of authentication on these devices. You can’t rely on whoever finds it to track the owner down, the NYU-Poly professor quipped, and the time lag between when an enterprise device is lost and actually reported to the IT department is a crucial window where data can be leaked – if proper authentication mechanisms are not in place.

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