Biometric Authentication and its types

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Biometric authentication refers to authentication provided by recognition of any part of the body through scanning systems and then providing access to users on certain computers, mobiles or other devices. This may be in the form of voice recognition, face recognition, fingerprint recognition, iris recognition and so on. Nowadays, biometric authentication has become very popular. It is used for punching for attendance, accessing confidnetial files or rooms and even for keeping records.

How it works

The main criteria of biometric authentication is that no two people are exactly alike. This fact is used to securely grant access when required.

The system compares a person’s details with an already stored database of biometric features. If it finds the details a match, it grants access, otherwise, the access is denied.

The data compared is set to be near identical and this is where the room for error creeps in. This is so because simple changes in conditions can cause details to change drastically. For example, scars or sweat may change the recognition pattern if the details are matched 100%. On the other hand, it also increases the chance of fake authentication grants.

Biometric authentication types

1- Fingerprint scanners- These scanners store the fingerprint of an individual for identification. In order to gain access, fingerprints are demanded and then the device matches the prints with the stored version.

2- Eye scanners- Eye scanners are considered highly authentic because the iris and retina hardly ever change. Eyes scanners record retinal biometric or iris structure. This is then compared with the scan and access is granted.

3- Voice recognition and Speaker recognition- The two are not the same. While voice recognition is more of identifying a passphrase or password, speaker recognition uses dramatic software to recognize the speaker. There are two types of speaker recognition technologies. Text-dependent and Text independent.

4- Facial recognition systems- These systems recognize the various features of the face including eyes nose and mouth. They also store birthmarks and facial wrinkles to later compare with the face scanned for granting access.

5- Other scanners- Other scanners such as Hand and finger geometry scanners and vein geometry scanners are also available as biometric scales.

Advantages and Disadvantages

There are several advantages of using biometric authentication and that is why websites like provide biometric authentication as part of their transaction verification services.

1- They are very easy to use.

2- They are cost-effective

3- They are reliable to some extent

4- They require physical presence

Even though biometric scanners might be thought to be foolproof, they have been discovered to be highly vulnerable.

1- Biometrics can be copied

2- They can’t be changed as biometrics don’t change

3- Aritifical fingerprints and imitation voices can trick the recognition software.

4- They are prone to hacking.

5- All software has vulnerabilities and thus hackers can find loopholes.

Due to all these disadvantages, it is recommended to use that provides double security when it comes to authentication. It is also recommended to use multiple securities to avoid a security breach.


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