Remote work in a COVID world has become a new norm. A recent LinkedIn poll of over 12,000 users revealed that only 4% wish to work in an office all the time, while 41% of workers prefer working from home and 55% in a hybrid work environment. Thus, data security as it relates to remote work is crucial.
First, let’s examine some pain points employees may experience when obtaining physical access to a company’s resources.
Challenges and how to secure while working from home
While working from home has many advantages, the employee and the employer can experience challenges which need to be solved in order to protect sensitive data. Here are some examples:
- Measures to set up and secure the workplace at home (including protection against unauthorised viewing and listening, access control).
- Hardware and software management (e.g. restriction to company-owned devices, IT security devices, IT security, password regulations, authentication of the user through 2-factor authentication).
- Communication infrastructure (e.g. VPN access, state-of-the-art WLAN encryption, firewalls).
- Secure Communication between employees and the employer (including transfer encryption of emails, use of data protection-compliant video conferencing platforms).
- Measures for the storage and transfer of documents and data carriers (e.g. locking away, transfer container protected against removal and inspection, making copies).
- Arrangements for inspections supporting the duty of supervision: Evidence of the possibility of an on-site inspection of the home office workplace by the employer and/ or the data protection supervision authority, proof of the consent of the employee documented in writing.
- Regulations on data backup, deletion, destruction of data.
- Regulations on remote maintenance, IT support.
- Regulations on behaviour in the event of data protection violations.
- Regulations on training and awareness-raising of employees about home office Regulations (written documentation).
Existing seamless authentication solutions for the remote worker
Protecting the workstation against unauthorized access not only at the beginning of the session but continuously or dynamically is a key element when it comes to endpoint security which is for sure part of cybersecurity and the initial gateway. There are authentication solutions that minimize or remove the employee resp. employer pain points when physical access needs to be secured while connecting to the company. Available solutions include:
- Attached USB key with fingerprint authentication.
- The user wears a lanyard that authenticates them when close to the home computer.
- Other biometrical solutions like retina scanning, facial recognition, and voice recognition.
All of the above solutions are unobtrusive in verifying a user’s identity. The software doesn’t interrupt user workflows or cause problems with personal rights.
A critical aspect of these solutions is that they aid employers’ supervisory duties by maintaining company security standards and adhering to legal regulations.
Of these solutions, biometric authentication with facial recognition stands out.
3 FAQ relating to biometric authentication with facial recognition
Let’s learn how businesses can implement biometric authentication with facial recognition and its benefits for both the company and the employee. Here are three of the most frequently asked questions answered for you.
1. What is biometric authentication with facial recognition?
To answer the question, let’s cover biometric authentication as a whole. The term biometric refers to the physical or behavioral characteristics that make each person unique, and biometric authentication leverages these traits to ensure data security.
Biometric authentication with facial recognition hones the authorization parameters to features relating to a person’s face. In a simplistic explanation, facial recognition collects different points on a person’s face different angles, to achieve an image with depth that distinctively identifies a person. These points are so precise that artificial intelligence can even distinguish identical twins. This feature of facial recognition makes it ideal for applications in data security.
2. How do you implement biometric authentication with facial recognition?
The organizations administrator sets up the facial recognition software and correlates the authorization to the devices within the company. The administrator can implement it as a Software as a Service (SaaS) solution. The application is installed through a cloud ,so the administrator doesn’t need to host it on-site.
As an option, the admin can integrate the facial recognition software into a company’s human resources (HR) software. This choice permits automatic (versus manual) addition or removal of employees.
Organizations can further enhance their protection by using multi-factor authentication, such as retina scanning and voice recognition. Administrators can enable notifications on particular events, such as a failed authentication.
On the work from home (WFH) side, the user only needs to take two selfies with a standard camera and send the pictures to the administrator. Then, when they request physical access to the company’s data, the software prompts them for facial authentication.
Once the user logs in through facial recognition, the software verifies the user at random periods as they work. This continuous authentication seamlessly verifies the user since the user could be working from a family computer.
3. What are the benefits of using biometric authentication with facial recognition?
The evident benefits of biometric authentication with facial recognition include:
Ease of use for remote workers
Balancing the protection of sensitive information and practical access for remote workers can be a challenge for organisations. However, biometric authentication satisfies that need.
Implementation through SaaS
When a business leverages the cloud for its software management, it benefits in at least three ways:
- There’s no bulk payment for the software – it can be a monthly or annual subscription model.
- A third-party vendor handles the hosting, maintenance, and software upgrades, freeing the organisation’s administrator for other required work.
- The software is scalable, meaning that it automatically accommodates growth in the organisation or the inclusion of new features.
Process and user privacy protection
User photos are taken on liveness detection and travel via an encrypted channel to a central Web Service in real time, without local intermediate storage. From the photo a template is being generated, which is a converted into a binary feature vector, so-called template. The template is a unique mathematical representation of the face, which cannot be transformed back into a photo. The photo itself is being deleted immediately, so no photo or personal data of the user is stored. In the process generated templates are being compared, when a new authentication is rendered. During the process, re-generated templates are compared with each other. If there are discrepancies, the employee's screen is closed according to certain rules and the workstation is disconnected from the VPN.
Need more information on biometric authentication with facial recognition?
This article was a bird’s eye view of biometric authentication software, but you may still have some questions like:
- How does the software handle facial recognition when a person wears sunglasses, a turtleneck, or grows a beard?
- How accurate is the verification process and how false positive recognitions can be avoided?
- How employees react to using face recognition, is the workers council showstopping and what benefits employees recognise after a short time while using it?
- How long does a particular facial recognition software take to authenticate an employee?
- How liveness detection is working and preventing misuse and faked images?
- Are zero-trust architectures compatible and how to integrate?
Homebase has a team of experts who happy to assist with your data security needs.