Digital Security You Can Touch

 
 
By Peter Coffee  |  Posted 2001-04-23 Email Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

As handheld devices hold more personal data and become the entry points to hosted financial and medical services, users will be increasingly concerned about the personal loyalty of these digital assistants.

As handheld devices hold more personal data and become the entry points to hosted financial and medical services, users will be increasingly concerned about the personal loyalty of these digital assistants. Authentication must be tied to the user, not to the device, if loss or theft is to be an annoyance, not a catastrophe.

Passwords are notoriously weak as a means of data protection—often poorly secured and even more often easily guessed. A biometric interface, such as the Pocket PC fingerprint scanner prototype shown by the International Biometric Group at Comdex earlier this month, can put authentication at users fingertips.

Hardware developers can explore integrated fingerprint systems with tools from providers such as AuthenTec (www.authentec.com)

 
 
 
 
Peter Coffee is Director of Platform Research at salesforce.com, where he serves as a liaison with the developer community to define the opportunity and clarify developers' technical requirements on the company's evolving Apex Platform. Peter previously spent 18 years with eWEEK (formerly PC Week), the national news magazine of enterprise technology practice, where he reviewed software development tools and methods and wrote regular columns on emerging technologies and professional community issues.Before he began writing full-time in 1989, Peter spent eleven years in technical and management positions at Exxon and The Aerospace Corporation, including management of the latter company's first desktop computing planning team and applied research in applications of artificial intelligence techniques. He holds an engineering degree from MIT and an MBA from Pepperdine University, he has held teaching appointments in computer science, business analytics and information systems management at Pepperdine, UCLA, and Chapman College.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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