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Passwords are the bane of security researchers around the globe. On average, those that are easy to remember likely aren’t very long or complex and thus, easy for hackers to crack. Lengthier passwords with a mix of upper- and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols are typically more secure but much more difficult to remember.
Until security researchers can devise a foolproof authentication method, we’re left with traditional character-based passwords bolstered by two-factor authentication and biometric solutions. While still hackable, the latter option at least makes the process a bit more difficult, especially when trying to do remotely.
The disadvantage of biometric methods is that the majority of computers don’t ship with things like fingerprint readers. That’s where Synaptics’ latest product comes in.
The company recently announced a USB fingerprint module that enables Natural ID secure authentication on any notebook. Designed as a FIDO-certified turnkey solution for OEMs, ODMs and private labels, Synaptics says the device enables swift access to PCs and full use of Windows Hello and Microsoft Passport.
As Patrick Moorhead, president and principal analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy, points out, notebook buying cycles are historically much longer compared to other consumer electronics like smartphones. For a large company, it may make more financial sense to deploy add-on USB fingerprint readers rather than replace systems that still have plenty of mileage remaining.
Synaptics said it will begin sampling its new USB dongle during the third quarter before entering mass production in the fourth. No word yet on how much it’ll sell for, however.