Fujitsu brings palm-scanning biometric security to Windows 10 laptops

The authentication method, which verifies a user based on a vein in their palm, can help protect remote workers from security risks.

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Building a slide deck, pitch, or presentation? Here are the big takeaways:
  • Fujitsu is partnering with Microsoft to build devices with Windows 10 Pro and biometric security options, including Windows Hello and Fujitsu's palm vein authentication.
  • Fujitsu's PalmSecure technology maps the veins under your skin to confirm identity, and could improve security for on-the-go professionals.

Windows 10 users may soon be able to login to their devices with a wave of their hand. On Thursday, Microsoft and Fujitsu announced a partnership to build devices with Windows 10 Pro and biometric options such as Windows Hello and palm vein authentication to better prevent security breaches.

More than 60% of security attacks stem from compromised user credentials, according to Microsoft Advanced Threat Analytics data cited in a blog post from Christian Bock, Fujitsu's global marketing director. Fujitsu devices will soon combine Windows Hello--the facial recognition system that allows users to log into their laptop by looking into the device's camera--with Fujitsu's PalmSecure, which maps the veins under a user's skin to confirm their identity.

For professionals, this technology could improve security while also making it faster and easier to login to their machine. By making a new security protocol easier to use, it's likely that employees are more apt to adopt it.

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To use PalmSecure, users simply hold their palm over a small scanner built into their laptop or other device. It scans the veins under the palm and grants access to the correct user.

Fujitsu also recently announced that it would replace passwords and smartcards with PalmSecure for about 80,000 employees in Japan this year, allowing them to access their virtual desktops and office buildings with a wave of their hand. Global companies including Banco Bradesco and Lotte Card are already using PalmSecure, the blog post noted. And a number of other companies are exploring similar biometric authentication techniques for employees, suggesting that this could be the next frontier in enterprise security.

The technology will be especially useful given that many employees work remotely at least part of the time, which increases their security risk, the post noted. However, it is not failproof: Using only a modified printed photo of the authorized user, German security researchers were able to trick a machine with Windows Hello enabled into letting them into the system.

"There are many reasons for companies to modernize their technology and embrace the remote workstyle. Here are my top 3: long-term cost savings, increased employee productivity, and a competitive recruiting edge," Bock wrote in the post. "More than just enabling remote access, technology modernization includes providing the most secure environment to protect your employees, company, and customers."

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Image: Fujitsu