Security specialist Abloy UK has highlighted the importance of physical security to protect against digital data breaches, following the recent approval of a new standard that offers the ability to add tangible authentication to secure online accounts.
WebAuthn, which has now been approved by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), standardises an interface for secure authentication of users in web-based applications and services.
An extension implemented in this standard is the Credential Management API, which allows users to authenticate using ‘something’ other than a password, such as a gesture, biometric reading or a key.
Most of the major browsers have already implemented support for this standard in anticipation of its approval - something that Abloy has welcomed in line with its own view that having something physical to rely on as well as electronics is inherently more secure.
Pip Courcoux, Sales and Product Manager - CLIQ Systems at Abloy UK, explained: “In many ways, security against cyber attacks is similar to security against physical attack. For example, a stolen password is a stolen credential, a phishing attack is similar to wireless credential cloning.
“If you can get close enough to the individual and get enough data you can fill in the gaps and recreate the identity. Although passwords have become more complex and harder to duplicate, they may just not be good enough alone.”
With this in mind, Abloy offers PROTEC2 CLIQ, a locking solution based on detainer disc cylinders and electronic identification. PROTEC2 CLIQ provides mechanical security and allows for flexible control of keys and access rights, and complete audit trails via a web-based management system.
This system’s mechanical key has been developed over generations to be one of the most secure mechanical platforms in the world. Combining this with the CLIQ microelectronics platform introduces an additional layer of security and flexibility through advanced encryption and time-based access principles.
Courcoux added: “As the big tech companies continue to develop Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Quantum computer chips, the digital world will face new threats, so passwords and encryptions could be broken in milliseconds.
“But when electronic security fails, Abloy customers will sleep soundly knowing they are ahead of the curve, having chosen a balanced approach to their security where mechanical and digital work in harmony.”