Seen at 11: Your Body Could Soon Replace Your Passwords

July 8, 2015 | CBS New York

Passwords to electronics such as iPhones and tablets could soon be a thing of the past. Fingerprints or iris scans to access computers are said to be easier to use and much more secure. But even as technology improves, so do opportunities for hackers.

For example, the creation of a synthetic fingerprint – and just like that, there’s access to someone else’s iPad. Early versions of iPhones that used fingerprint technology were also susceptible to hacking and there’s no shortage of YouTube tutorials to show how it’s done.

“If someone can replicate the fingeprint, then they’ve got it all,” said Paul Viollis, CEO of Risk Control Strategies. It’s called biometrics – the use of fingeprints, iris scans and other personal physical identification that is more and more becoming the norm for increased measures of security.

Viollis is a security expert who says it has to become the standard. “Biometrics puts an end to human error,” Viollis explained. “You didn’t turn your computer off, you forgot to log in, you left your password readily available. No one is getting into that desktop, no one is going to breech that information unless it’s the person that’s authorized.”

And biometric systems are stepping up to meet the demand.

Jason Chaikin, president of Vkansee Technology, has developed fingerprint recognition technology that offers an even more detailed identification pattern. “We see more than 150 features, micro features, inside the fingerprint – giving so much more information to accurately identify a person,” Chaikin said.

At NYU Langone Medical Center, they use vein patterns in a patient’s hand for identification. “The palm print means you never have to worry that anybody else is working on your account or impersonating you,” said patient Dale Burg.

Burg’s identity is confirmed through this scan, and backed up with a picture on file. There are no clipboards or paperwork, and there’s an added benefit for the medical institution as well. “Think about the people that come into the hospital who are unconscious, who can’t identify themselves, who don’t have any ID on them,” said Dr. Neica Goldberg with NYU Langone Medical Center. “If they’ve been to the NYU system we can take their vein pattern and know who they are.”

Security experts stressed that even with the new technology, the best way to protect your personal devices is with a tiered approach – biometrics for general access, and passwords for other personal accounts that should be protected.