Chasing the Token: Abandoning Key Fobs & Tokens for Identity-Centered Security

Posted by Julia Webb on 28 February 2019

Still relying on token technology like swipe cards, key fobs and dongles? This BioConnect blog post explains why and how private and public sector organizations can significantly improve security without compromising access.

Even with the strictest control, swipe cards, like other tokens, don’t authenticate the user’s identity. Similar to passwords and pin codes, traditional physical security systems are breached too easily today. Companies must protect their business, their employees, their intellectual property (IP), and their customer data. At the same time, different levels of access are needed to allow individuals to perform functions crucial to the operations of a business. To strike a balance between defense and convenience, a security system must, at the very least, be capable of authenticating users.

Book a Free Demo to Replace Legacy Tokens.

That said, for many readers, it’s important to start at the beginning.

What is a Token?

Tokens are a legacy two-factor authentication system that relies on a combination of—easily lost or damaged—hardware tokens and passwords or pin numbers to secure access to a workplace. These tokens, which vary in size and fragility, include key fobs, swipe cards, and dongles.

How Secure are Tokens?

Once considered adequate, tokens are too easily breached today. New technologies exist that can deliver a higher level of defense, can protect company resources, and secure data and intellectual property from internal and external threats to the business.  Many companies continue to use these antiquated systems to secure their workplace, but those businesses live with a false sense of security.

Easy to Steal

Dongles, key fobs, swipe cards are all too easy to lend, borrow, or steal. Like passwords and pin numbers, tokens and swipe cards represent your credentials that allow you access to secure areas and private information. However, they don’t prevent another person from impersonating you. You may entrust your username and password to someone or innocently drop clues that help someone to uncover your credentials. With easy access to your token—stored in your wallet or dangling on your key chain—it’s quite possible for someone other than you to fool token-based systems. Instead of authenticating true identities, these systems confirm the secrets you know and your ownership of an inanimate object.

Don’t expect anyone to keep secrets or objects safe. No matter how clear the policy or how severe the penalty, users will eventually breach your security systems out of necessity or convenience.

Book your free security assessment from BioConnect.

Failure to Identify Users

As a two-factor authentication system, token-based security fails to deliver on its promise to keep a workplace safe. It might be sufficient to lock out the average person, but hackers and thieves have ways to circumvent these systems.  By targeting select employees for example, a thief or hacker can befriend one of them, easily gain access to passwords or pin codes, and when no one’s looking, steal a token to breach a workplace’s security system.

Fragile and Costly to Replace

Not only are tokens unsecure, many are quite fragile, easily lost or damaged, and costly to replace. Decision-makers routinely bristle at the replacement cost of tokens, and rightfully so. Every time an employee loses a swipe card, or a tenant loses a fob to the parking garage, or a supplier fails to return a dongle, the tokens must be replaced. A single token can cost from $25 to $75 to replace, and those expenses add up fast!

Cut Down on Costs: Talk to us About Replacing your Legacy Tokens.

What Protects Better?

Moving to an identity-centered security strategy cuts costs and greatly improves both your physical and digital security. By leveraging biometrics—such as facial recognition, voice, fingerprints, or behavior—you’re choosing a system that confirms who people are, not what they know and/or carry in their wallet.

By confirming someone’s true identity, quickly and efficiently, a biometric-based system saves precious time and avoids the high cost of replacing tokens. This new security philosophy shifts away from protecting secrets and objects to identifying and empowering the people you trust with the appropriate level of access.

Book your free security assessment from BioConnect.

Building Trust Scores

Modern biometric-based security solutions increase your level of defense while seamlessly delivering convenient access to users with high trust scores. A flexible yet secure multi-factor authentication system establishes a level of trust between businesses and those people allowed access to sensitive areas and information on premise.

As those same people perform similar functions, at the usual times, accessing information from the same computer terminal or entrance way, they build trust scores that the biometric-based security system can validate.  Biometrics securely and conveniently validate trusted individuals who’ve been assigned access to sensitive areas and information by eliminating the need to remember passwords or pin codes or carry a microchipped swipe card.

Learn How you can Implement Exact Identity Assurance.

Capturing Rich Metadata

Unlike legacy systems, biometric devices generate rich metadata when implemented correctly. BioConnect’s security experts capture, secure, and synthesize the metadata from devices into consolidated reports, from one platform. These reports give decision-makers, such as a Chief Security Officer, added insight and richer intelligence. This information helps to strengthen the level of physical and digital security of any business.

Switching to Biometric-Based Security

If you still rely on an outdated token system, let’s start by evaluating your physical and digital security. An identity-centered security strategy, customized to your needs, begins with an assessment from BioConnect experts. BioConnect designs and deploys an enterprise-grade biometric security solution that heightens security, promotes compliance, and provides convenient access for trusted users.

Move beyond unsecure and costly token technology, and join the growing number of blue chip corporations turning to biometrics for premium cyber and physical security.

Book your free security assessment from BioConnect.

Know someone who uses tokens to secure their business? Do them a favor and share this post on biometric-based security.

Topics: News, Authentication, Biometrics, Access Control, Cybersecurity, Innovation, Digital Security