A new self-contained fingerprint authentication technology by Synaptics will reduce the risk of data being compromised by hardware hacks or system malware on the connected host computer.
The Match-in-Sensor technology is the first ever fingerprint sensor with fully encapsulated hardware. Its System on Chip architecture allows all input and output functions – including fingerprint image enrolment, biometric matching and pattern storage – to be performed on a microprocessor within the device, meaning the fingerprint data is not communicated with an external processor as it is in Match-on-Host authentication.
Biometric authentication is becoming increasingly popular due to its convenience compared to password protection. With Mastercard partnering with Zwipe last year to create the first credit card that offers contactless payment with biometric authentication, fingerprint sensors are already used to authenticate consumer payments. However, it is vital they become more secure before realising their potential as a replacement for the traditional password or PIN.
Ritu Favre, Synaptics’ senior vice president and general manager of the Biometric Products Division says “The entire mobile payments ecosystem, driven by rapid adoption of fingerprint authentication technology, is increasingly concerned about reducing security risks and eliminating threats of attack. Match-in-Sensor technology provides for the requirements of smartphone manufacturers, the convenience for end-users, and the security for online service providers when authenticating their customers.”
“With the proliferation of mobile payments, security on mobile devices has taken on a much more significant meaning,” said Les Santiago, Research Director for IDC. “Synaptics’ Match-in-Sensor raises the bar on security by ensuring that your biometric information never leaves the sensor compared to Match-on-Host or Match-on-Host-Trusted Zone solutions. This is especially useful if the host system is compromised by malware or a virus.”