Thursday evening at WeWork in Seoul, members of the KeySupreme team discussed the current state of authentication, some of its commonly exploited flaws, and ways users (everyone) can protect themselves and their information.

To understand how we’ve arrived at authentication in its current state, KeySupreme Graphic Designer, Daniella Monteiro, explained the history and progression of authentication. The first attempts at identifying a unique individual dates back to approximately 100,000 years ago in the form of personalized jewelry and tattoos. As communities, cities, and countries grow in size, our expanding population has eventually come to look like one big blur; a faceless mass. This adds to the complexity of distinguishing one person from another, while creating an environment ripe for theft of personal information and assets.

In response, we’ve sought increasingly granular methods of distinguishing and confidently proving each unique identity, and by 1870, humanity accepted its first biometric form of human authentication, the human fingerprint. These archaic methods of authentication, while still being used today, are showing the signs and ineffectiveness of age, in a world now where we’ve effectively multiplied our identities online.

With the largest global population in history now existing in both a physical and digital world, the authentication industry has been (slowly) searching for authentication solutions suitable for a world that now feels like flipping through the pages of a “Where’s Waldo?” book. The most recent authentication solutions include smart cards and digital biometrics, that, while being more effective authentication solutions than a fingerprint, are still severely flawed and relatively simple to hack.

Part of the issue exists with authentication solutions providing users more with “convenience” than actual security. Fingerprint scanning and facial recognition technology in its current state, for example, could be more accurately described as “convenience” technologies wearing the clothing of an authentication solution.

Sofia Caceres, KeySupreme COO, demonstrated some of the most common authentication threats affecting people on a daily basis, and often to devastating effects. These demonstrations included passive and active social engineering, which can look like phishing, vishing, smishing, and impersonation.

Min Kim, KeySupreme Business Operations Manager, proceeded to discuss simple methods of protecting one’s information, such as password selection, 2-factor authentication, and being aware of when you’re potentially risking your identity online. As new age as they are, these solutions are either inconvenient or aren’t truly secure options. Ultimately the message is “this is the best we have” in the authentication space. However, new developments in fraud, scamming, and impersonation technology indicates that the “best we have” is no longer sufficient to combat the authentication risks that are now at our doorstep.

Marc Raphael, KeySupreme CEO, demonstrated some of the newest technology being used to steal information or impersonate identity, most notably of which includes recent AI technology used to create the “Deep Fake”, which now enables one to convincingly create a video recording that impersonates any human being. If history is any indication, this technology is only going to improve, and at an exponential rate.

The authentication solutions necessary to successfully protect against this level of technology, while also being realistic for daily use, must be solutions that achieve an equilibrium of unhackable security, absolute privacy, and convenience. Accomplishing this will require the proper symbiosis of human and machines. This is the future of identity that KeySupreme is currently working to create. If interested in connecting or learning more about future updates on our roadmap, contact us by visiting KeySupreme.