How your heartbeat will make passwords obsolete

Editor’s Note: Future Finance is a new series showcasing future trends related to the global financial system.

Story highlights

Fingerprints are left everywhere and passwords can easily be hacked

Technology firm Bionym have introduced a wristband that authenticates your heartbeat

Transactions will be fluid as devices, banks and stores will instantly recognize who you are

CNN  — 

Thought your fingerprint was secure? Think again. The unique pattern on the tip of your fingers can easily be copied and used to access your most personal information.

As PIN numbers and passwords prove redundant in protecting data, tech companies are looking to convert bodily features into secure identity authenticators.

Bionym, the Toronto-based biometrics technology company, have introduced The Nymi – a wristband that measures heartbeats to authenticate identity. Its embedded sensor reads the electrical pulses produced by your heartbeat, which is unique to each of us.

“You leave your fingerprints everywhere - you actually leave this impression which can be copied,” said Karl Martin, CEO and founder of Bionym.

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“In the future, you go into a store, you go to the terminal, you tap with your wrist and that’s it. You don’t actually have to go through any of the friction of pulling out a credit card. Your name pops up when you get to the ATM - you don’t have to enter a card or a pin because it knows who you are,” he added.

A future filled with devices that automatically recognize who you are may seem a bit daunting, however, as hackers become more successful in accessing personal information, these smart devices look to save users a lot of hassle.

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“Our vision of the future is essentially everything that can be intelligent will be personalized to you, and will behave differently based on who’s there.” says Martin

This new world of smart devices and the “Internet of Things” is a far cry from the past where anti-virus applications were the only way to keep hackers out. Now, such software is child’s play for those eager to get a hold of our information.

“In the old world it was all about keeping your data in the center of a network and building walls as high as you could with firewall, antivirus, all these boundary controls,” said Alastair Paterson, CEO of Digital Shadows, a cyber-threat intelligence company.

“Today’s world just doesn’t work like that anymore,” he added.

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