Security is always a hot topic. As we become more and more reliant on computers and more and more comfortable conducting different types of business through them--taxes, shopping, banking, and more--the security risks multiply. To protect unauthorized use or access, many sites and devices have more security options built in. Google, for example has a two-step authentication option. If this is turned on for your account, it means that anytime you sign in with your credential to a new browser or device, you'll be asked to authenticate in another way, in addition to providing a password. Typically, it's a text message to your phone with a code. The downside, obviously, is if you don't have your phone, you can't access your account (unless there's another method available for the second authentication). Other companies, like Apple and Microsoft, are utilizing something you always have handy: your fingerprint. BIO-key has just launched the first USB fingerprint sensor in the Microsoft Store to be used with Windows Hello.
USB Fingerprint Readers & Windows Hello
Windows Hello is a new secure way to sign in to Windows 10 devices. It uses biometric authentication instead of a password. This means that users can sign in with their face, the iris of their eye, or a fingerprint. This is where the USB fingerprint scanner comes in handy.
Even though a PC might have Windows Hello, it might not have the necessary hardware to read a face, iris or fingerprint. This reader requires just a USB port. Plug it in, and users can utilize biometric authentication.
How Biometric Authentication Works
In the case of a USB fingerprint reader, the user (and user's family; an entire family can be enrolled for one-touch sign on), an impression is created and encrypted of the fingerprint. It's less like an image and more like a graph. The encryption adds more security to the fingerprint itself, so it can't be stolen.
It's also in use with Apple products (called TouchID on iOS devices),and this kind of authentication is on the rise. Ultimately, it's possible that these kinds of USB fingerprint readers will be used not only for password authentication, but across browsers and other technology applications.
While Windows Hello is far from the first implementation like this of fingerprint USBs, it's one of the furthest reaching. Considering the number of PCs in the world, it's a big step forward in helping consumers protect and secure their data and devices.
These kinds of fingerprint flashdrives aren't really designed to be carried in your pocket or to hold information (beyond your fingerprint, obviously). Our reps can help with that usage. It's always exciting to hear about the different application for USB drives, and who knows? Maybe we'll add them to our catalog someday!
In the meantime, check out our selection of custom USB drives and FlashPads.