Who are you?
So many things are dependent upon our identity, and proving our identity. If a government or private entity wants to give money to a person, the entity needs to make sure the money is given to the correct person. If only certain people are allowed on a military base, the military needs to know that only authorized people enter the secure area. If a doctor is going to perform an operation on a patient, it’s important to make sure that the right patient is present…and that the doctor is truly a doctor.
There are various ways to ensure that a person is who he or she claims to be. As I’ve previously stated, five common “authentication factors” include:
- Something You Know. Think “password.” And no, passwords aren’t dead. But the use of your mother’s maiden name as an authentication factor is hopefully decreasing.
- Something You Have. This could be a secure document, or it could be a physical or virtual token of some sort. I’ve spent much of the last ten years working with this factor, primarily in the form of driver’s licenses. (Yes, MorphoTrak proposed driver’s license systems. No, they eventually stopped doing so. But obviously IDEMIA North America, the former MorphoTrust, has implemented a number of driver’s license systems.) But there are other examples, such as hardware or software tokens.
- Something You Are. I’ve spent…a long time with this factor, since this is the factor that includes biometrics modalities (finger, face, iris, DNA, voice, vein, etc.). It also includes behavioral biometrics, provided that they are truly behavioral and relatively static.
- Something You Do. These are actions that are not necessarily habitual behaviors, such as using swiping patterns to unlock a device. This is different from something such as gait recognition, which supposedly remains constant and is thus classified as behavioral biometrics.
- Somewhere You Are. This is an emerging factor, as smartphones become more and more prevalent and locations are therefore easier to capture. Even then, however, precision isn’t always as good as we want it to be. For example, when you and a few hundred of your closest friends have illegally entered the U.S. Capitol, you can’t use geolocation alone to determine who exactly is in Speaker Pelosi’s office.
There are a number of companies that provide identity products and services related to one or more of these authentication factors.
- For example, I know of two large multinational firms that offer solutions to answer both the “something you have” and “something you are” questions. In fact, they provide secure documents (such as driver’s licenses) that are backed by biometrics, answering both of these questions simultaneously.
- There are a ton of pure play biometrics firms that focus on a single biometric, although the number of such firms has decreased over the years. (Many of these small biometric firms were acquired by L-1 Identity Solutions, now part of IDEMIA.)
- There are also a ton of firms that attack the “something you have” issue. Some devote their work to secure documents, both physical and digital. Others work with specific technologies such as radio frequency identification.
- A newer authentication factor is based upon location (somewhere you are). Many firms offer location-based services, but only some of them extend these services to allow proof that a particular person is in a particular location.
- And let’s not forget the “something you know” crowd. While some people claim that things such as passwords are dead, others are dedicated to make knowledge-based authentication better.
All of these firms address identity in some way. And while any one solution can provide some level of protection, it’s much safer to use authentication methods that combine multiple factors. Perhaps a crook can manufacture a fake finger with my fingerprint on it, but can that same crook also create a fake driver’s license and spoof my geolocation? Multi-factor authentication makes fraud much harder to accomplish.
How can Bredemarket help identity firms?
Because of my extensive identity industry expertise, I can provide enhanced services to identity firms such as biometric and secure document providers. I have worked with multiple biometric modalities (friction ridge, face, iris, voice, DNA) for customers in multiple countries at the national, state/provincial/regional, and local levels for both government and enterprise clients, and have also worked with secure document providers. I can speak WSQ, ANSI/NIST, FRVT, NPS-NIST-ICD, AAMVA, or REAL ID as needed.
Here are a few examples of services that I have provided to identity firms under the Bredemarket banner.
- Proposal Writing: Created five proposal letter templates to let a biometric firm’s sales staff propose two products to five separate markets. After completing the first three templates, I received this unsolicited testimonial:
“I just wanted to truly say thank you for putting these templates together. I worked on this…last week and it was extremely simple to use and I thought really provided a professional advantage and tool to give the customer….TRULY THANK YOU!”
- Proposal Analyzing: Monitored the social media activity of a biometric firm’s competition, and created responsive proposal text to position the firm against its competition.
- Proposal Editing: Assisted a biometric firm in the final stages of an RFP response, editing its proposal both before and after its Gold Team review.
- Strategic Marketing: Updated customer counts and technical data for a secure document firm.
- Online Marketing: Analyzed a biometric website and its social media channels, looking for broken links, outdated information, synchronization errors, and other problems, and provided a report to the firm upon completion.
- Online Writing: Interviewed customers and wrote case study text for a biometric firm. Wrote blog post text for another biometric firm.
Bredemarket uses a collaborative process with its clients to ensure that the final written product communicates the client’s desired message with the appropriate benefit statements.
Often the client provides specific feedback at certain stages of the process to ensure that the messaging is on track. I combine the client’s desires with my communications expertise to create a final written product that pleases both of us AND the client’s target customers.
Depending upon your needs, I can consult for you on an hourly basis for extended engagements or large projects, or I can offer you one of my small project packages such as my Bredemarket 400 Short Writing Service or my Bredemarket 2800 Medium Writing Service.
If you are an identity firm that needs my services, contact me.