IrisGuard Makes Inroads, from Mideast Banks to U.S. Prisons

On May 5, 1961, moments before blasting off on his historic space voyage, astronaut Alan Shepard couldn’t help thinking “that every part of this ship was built by the low bidder,” according to press reports from the time. That’s the anecdote Ben Rothke, a senior security consultant in New York for BT Professional Services, a leading IT security firm in El Segundo, Calif., uses to describe the flimsiness of the system billions of people depend on to access everything from e-mail to bank accounts: a username and password. “This is the Achilles heel of electronic security. [This] authentication mechanism ... was broken 20 years ago,” says Rothke.

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