Understanding Biometrics

October 27, 2022

Biometric systems have become a major part of designing security systems in the current era of technological innovation. The security that such systems can offer to an individual or organization's data has led to its implementation in many forms of systems worldwide. From the safety of mobile phones to computer systems in offices and building security, no sector has not seen the employment of biometric systems.

Primary Biometric Authentication is a measurable characteristics of an individual that can be used as data for identification and which cannot be replicated. These characteristics include physical images such as facial scans, fingerprints, iris scans, and DNA samples. They are considered high individuals because no two people can have the same characteristics. The inherent specificity of such unique traits is what makes biometric systems so secure and is the core function of system functionality.

Types of Biometric Systems

Physical Scanners

The introduction of biometric systems into both public and private security has led to it becoming increasingly popular. Scanners can now be found at entry points of offices, public buildings and even in private homes. Scanners have also been implemented in devices such as mobile phones, computers, and safety deposit boxes

Behavioural Scanners

Voice and digital signatures are other types of biometric authentication. These factors include dynamic changes in behavior, handwriting recognition, voice recognition, and speech rhythms to factors such as walking style and writing or typing speed. The evaluation of a person and the way they act is monitored passively. Voice recognition combines both aspects so it is an accurate representation. It uses sound volume and vowel pronunciation to secure data.

Application of Biometric Security

Authentication helps determine who can access which areas and permits control of any applications to the appropriate user. Computer systems enroll the use of such data to create security measures to protect data from illegal access. An example is the use of fingerprint scanners on mobile devices. Only fingerprint data registered on the device can unlock it.

High-security buildings have facial or fingerprint scanners on the door for controlled access to personnel. Technology is getting applied to create a protected environment in every aspect of life. Biometrics can be used on multiple systems unlike passwords which are not very secure and reusing passwords on multiple accounts is not advised. Data is collected beforehand and stored securely. This could later be used for verification at any required secure location.

Types of Biometric Identification

Finger Print Scans

One of the most popular systems by far is the fingerprint scanner. It is quick and easy to use in the case of multiple users requiring access to a single zone. There are several ways in which fingerprint identification can be applied for security purposes. These include using optical sensors for converting fingerprints into digital codes, implementing linear thermal sensors, or implementing capacitive authentication sensors.

Its wide use makes it the most widely used biometric data capture. This also causes disadvantages however as only the fingerprint is required and not the individual, injury to the print can interfere with scans. This can be used when an individual is asleep or unconscious.

Voice Recognition

This method involves the use of voice. It is less time-consuming and as such mostly used in voice-related areas such as call centers. It can be used with other technologies such as facial or fingerprint scans as an added security level for confidential documents. Noise and illness can interfere with the use of voice recognition.

Facial and Iris Recognition

In most cases, this method is used to identify individuals by their face and information stored in a database. It is most prevalent with security teams and large areas of operation but can also be implemented in smaller offices and systems. Iris identification is a newer form of biometric security and research on it shows it is the most secure and cannot be easily influenced by injury. It requires improvement in methods used for scanning and low light can affect the scan.

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