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Exchange Activesync Biometric Policy

Posted on 2013-11-19
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Android has several devices in the pipeline that will offer fingerprint authentication to the device as well as apps and services (think fingerprint for paypal login).  I am wondering if ActiveSync password/passcode policies will work.  We have a passcode requirement, so for example the Android Pattern lock/unlock does not work and users must enter the passcode after entering the pattern to view their email.

The iPhone 5s seems to have skirted the ActiveSync passcode requirement by effectively converting the fingerprint data to the pre-set passcode and passing it along to be checked for policy compliance.

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn282287.aspx

The above mentioned TechNet article describes policies which, if enabled,  allow biometrics to be a valid authentication mechanism.  The base Exchange 2010 Activesync Mailbox Policies do not offer it as an option.  Is it event possible ?

Has anyone attempted/implemented biometrics in relation to ActiveSync?

Thank you for reading.
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Question by:collabsvcs
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Jamie McKillop earned 2000 total points
ID: 39662384
Hello,

The only way biometrics will work is if it is converted to a passcode, as the iPhone 5S has implemented. Currently, the ActiveSync protocol does not have a mechanism for accepting biometric authentication directly.

You can still use biometrics on your devices but there is no way for ActiveSync to enforce their use and you would need to set your ActiveSync policy to not require a passcode. This would rely on you trusting users to setup the biometrics and could result in some users not having any authentication on their device. There may be third party MDM solutions you could look into that would enforce the use of biometric authentication but MDM solutions are generally quite expensive.

-JJ
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