How secured are touchless solutions?

December 14, 2020 | Mayleen Menez

This blog was written by an independent guest blogger.

secured title in picture

Image Source: TMC

Touchless solutions have risen to the forefront this year because of the latest pandemic that has reshaped the way we work and live. When social distance policies were placed in motion, borders closed, establishments paused operations, and businesses moved online operating amid lockdown.

Touchless technologies had to be put in place almost everywhere to preserve human touch. It has ceased to be just an option since it is now a necessity in the new normal.

And much as the dreaded physical epidemic that subjected the world to the pandemic, computer hackers have exploited the vulnerability of individuals, institutions, and networks amid the height of the crisis. Here are a number of them:

  • Cyber attacks against Internet-exposed RDP ports soared from 3 million to 4.5 million between January and March 2020.
  • Increase in attempted security breaches after March to unexpected remote working setup without comprehensive security planning.
  • Increase in phishing attacks linked to COVID-19 by 667%.
  • DDoS attacks accounted for 45% of the recorded security threats, and 43% of those were password login attacks. The remainder is malware attacks, web threats, fraudulent DNS queries against client DNS servers, and unclassified attacks.
  • Corporate ransomware attacks are up, as in the case of attacks against Honda in June 2020 and severe outages triggered by cyber assaults against Garmin in July 2020. It has been confirmed that the attackers came from the Russian organization, Evil Corp.
  • Canon suffered a ransomware assault by the Maze ransomware gang in August, where 10 TB (terabytes) of data were taken, private databases, and the like.
  • Deployment of data mining malware such as remote access Trojan, data thieves, spyware, and banking Trojans with COVID-19 linked information as bait.
  • Growing amounts of fake news or misinformation are circulating quickly among the public. In a cybercrime survey, around 30% of the countries that participated attested to the spread of false COVID-19 information. Other cyberattacks included fraud via mobile text messages.

3 Examples why we need secured touchless solutions

Despite these attacks, there is still no doubt that the need for more touchless tech is urgent. How can touchless solutions be integrated into the workplace, schools, public utilities, and the like without compromising our security?

1.Opt to use personal instead of shared devices.

We need cloud-based software, storage, and other solutions if we go touchless. Using cloud-based software on personal devices, however, is much better than shared devices.

Although no device, network, or digital tool is foolproof from attempted cyberattacks and data breaches, the potential is compounded on shared devices.

We need to shift workplace environment control to each person’s smart device on staff or in the team. It significantly decreases the risk of a virus spreading by contact.

Plus, it lessens the cognitive burden of employees as they already understand how their mobile devices work. Learning how to manage their environment is also going to be much more comfortable.

For example, workers may be given access to their building or specific facilities via personal devices. It easily replaces less sanitary check-in methods such as check-in kiosks, biometric authentication access, or even manual check-ins.

But BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) systems often have risks. Employees can download any program they want for malware attacks and data breaches on their computers.

Some of the worst phishing attacks also came from workers opening a malicious email on their device that caused a more network-wide severe virus attack.

Security measures can then be implemented to secure BYOD systems to incorporate touchless workplace solutions and the like completely.

2.Shifting from touch to gestures

Consider gestures for non-secure access control or conditions where engaging via a personal device could be cumbersome or inconvenient. For example, waving your hand to unlock an automatic door eliminates the need to touch handles or actual buttons.

Other applications of gesture control are most seen in the corporate setting. You can eliminate touch control of large, shared collaboration displays such as an interactive lobby monitor, information kiosk, or Microsoft Surface digital whiteboard.

But standardized gesture experiences are still required. Developers of this touchless technology need to build intuitive, consistent interactions and a shared design vocabulary across different devices and platforms.

As the pandemic has not been eradicated yet, several businesses producing hands-free devices and products see increased inquiries and demand.

3.Voice Search and Voice Commands

Siri, Alexa, Google Assistant, and Cortana have influenced our understanding of virtual assistants and their capacity to execute mundane tasks.

Simultaneously, they have standardized voice control and integrated with home devices, enabling users to communicate directly to their appliances, fixtures, tools, and more. 

Merge these technologies, and you can streamline and make touchless everyday workplace tasks unlocking doors, ordering food, setting up meetings, and the like.

There is also immense potential to scale this approach corporately, such as reviewing different people's calendars for available hours.

Conclusion

Touchless solutions are crucial in the new normal. Adapting to touchless solutions requires much planning and smart investment. It can be overwhelming in many different ways, from acquisition to integration and implementation.

For corporations and other large entities, the learning curve for new technologies is not the same. However, going touchless is not just a luxury anymore. In this new normal economy brought by the pandemic, it is necessary to ensure continuity amid trying times.

If it gets overwhelming, always remember why you are going touchless. You want to protect your people. People and people’s safety should always be a top priority.

In addition, keep integrations user-friendly and straightforward, so it will not be hard to implement, especially at the consumer-side. Not everyone will be patient to stick around if the process is anywhere near slow, difficult, or ambiguous.

Your technology roadmap should also serve your long-term needs. So, plan not just to use touchless technologies for the time being because touchless solutions will become the norm. Increase your business profit amid challenging times by leveraging touchless tools now.

Mayleen Menez

About the Author: Mayleen Menez

Mayleen Meñez worked in media for almost seven years in TV, radio, and post-production as a Graphic Artist/Editor. Finding her true passion for NGO and community development work, she devoted 15 years as a coordinator and teacher, travelling both in the Philippines and countries in Asia. She homeschools her three kids and reinvents Filipino dishes in her spare time. Writing has always been a hobby and pursuit, and she recently added content writing with Softvire Australia and Softvire New Zealand up her sleeve, while preparing for her next adventure in the nations.

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