Samsung plans to add iris scanning technology to its future smartphones as part of its enterprise security software, according to The Wall Street Journal.
The tech is likely to integrate with the company’s Knox platform, which is a mobile security software designed to make Samsung phones more secure in the workplace.
“We’re looking at various types of biometric [mechanisms],” Rhee In-jong, Samsung’s senior vice president who leads the development of Knox, told The Wall Street Journal. “And one thing that everyone is looking at is iris detection.”
At the same time, the Journal reports that Samsung will bring fingerprint sensors to its cheaper phones, not just flagships like the Galaxy S5.
While fingerprint sensors are useful as a more convenient means of unlocking your phone rather than typing in a passcode, security experts have pointed out the potential security risks.
The biggest issue is that it’s relatively easy to fool fingerprint scanning systems. Immediately following the launch of both the Galaxy S5 and iPhone 5s, hackers discovered ways to fake out each fingerprint sensor.
As Nicholas Percoco, vice president of strategic services at IT security firm Rapid7 pointed out, it’s not difficult to lift someone’s fingerprint.
“The main reason is, it’s not necessarily a secret where a password could be,” he said in a previous interview with Business Insider. “If you think about your fingerprint, every single thing you’ve touched since you woke up this morning has your password on it. So that’s a problem.”
U.S. Senator Al Franken recently wrote a letter to Samsung expressing his concerns regarding how secure the Galaxy S5’s fingerprint sensor truly is. In the letter, Franken writes that security vulnerabilities discovered in the fingerprint scanner could create broader issues across the device.
If Samsung does want to integrate biometrics into its Knox suite, it’s not too surprising that the company is looking for alternate types of authentication that may be more secure.
Technology such as iris-scanning will probably be available in high-end phones first, according to the Journal,while fingerprint scanners are expected to come to inexpensive models as well.
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