Examples and Benefits of Biometric Authentication Technologies
Biometric authentication is an advanced cybersecurity measure. It allows a company to verify users by using their unique physical or behavioral attributes as their passwords. Once basic personal information is collected, a user’s biometric signature is formed and is compared against the one stored in a biometric database. This way, companies can ensure that any person attempting to log in to an account or access some data is authorized to do so.
Biometric authentication is an ever-evolving technology that provides businesses the opportunity to safeguard confidential data. In this article, you will be learning more about biometric services with the help of real-world examples.
What do Biometric Authentication Systems Do?
Biometric authentication systems perform two main functionalities:
Biometric verification answers the question: “Is the customer actually who they are claiming to be?
For instance, an individual states that their name is “John Dawson” and offers their fingerprint for verification. The biometric system either accepts this or rejects it after comparing the pattern against the one stored in the name of John Dawson.
Applications of biometric verification systems are found in access control at corporate offices, proving identity prior to carrying out a transaction in an ATM, facial scanners found in mall entrances, credit card purchases, medical ID card management, etc.
2. Biometric Identification
Biometric Identification answers the question: “Does the identity of this individual match the identity present in the database?”
Identification scenarios can either be positive or negative. In positive biometric identification, the biometric system verifies the identity of the individual. On the other hand, in negative identification, the biometric authentication system fails to verify the identity of the individual. In both cases, the system accepts or denies the individual’s claim to their identity by obtaining a biometric sample and cross-matching it against all biometric templates present in the database.
Examples of biometric identification can be found in driver’s license verification by the traffic police or watch-list surveillance of criminals in the city streets.
Types of Biometric Authentication Technologies
Listed below are a few types of biometric authentication technologies that are found commonly today:
Despite facial recognition being introduced back in the 1960s, it gained prominence earlier this decade. Today, it has become the most credible type of authentication measure, used by companies to not only verify customers but also for other purposes such as marking the attendance of an employee. Biometric sensors have the ability to detect distinct facial features to accurately identify the person from a pool of candidates. Biometric facial recognition typically identifies people by measuring the distance between their eyes, the shape of the nose, the contour of the lips, or the structure of their jawline, etc.
2. Iris Recognition
For those that are unaware, the iris is a colored muscular lining that surrounds the lens of an eye. Because of differences in the pattern of an eye, it is commonly used for identity verification. Through biometric iris scans, the identity of a person can be verified and authenticated within seconds.
3. Walking Style/ Gait Recognition
This form of biometric identification may come to you as a surprise as behavioral biometrics are still an emerging concept. Usually, this form of biometric authentication is used during criminal investigations. Since every individual walks uniquely, their foot movements can be used for identity verification.
4. Vein Recognition
In this form of biometric authentication, the unique vein patterns found in a person’s finger, arm, or hand can be used for the purpose of identification. Vein recognition systems utilize infrared light to examine vein patterns. Because of its high level of accuracy, vein recognition is now considered a cutting-edge method of biometric identification.
5. Signature Recognition
Reproducing someone’s signature may sound illegal, but it is in fact used widely for verifying the identity of individuals. Biometric signature recognition has the ability to analyze distinct stroke patterns and the style of the signature to authenticate its legitimacy.
Apart from these, other types of biometric technologies include retina scans, palm recognition, DNA matching, and voice recognition systems.
Benefits of Biometric Authentication Technologies
Biometric authentication systems are being widely adopted due to the wide array of advantages they provide for users. A few of these benefits include:
Utilizing biometric authentication systems ensures the company that only legitimate customers are onboarded
Users can substantially reduce fraud from online platforms
Identification of spoof attacks becomes an easy-to-do task
With the help of advanced identification technologies such as this, identity thefts and account takeover scams can be kept at bay
The privacy of confidential customer data can be ensured
Customer experiences can be greatly enhanced
The credibility of a company or an online platform can be increased with the help of robust biometric verification procedures
Biometric services also enable companies to comply with global know your customer and anti-money laundering regulatory obligations