Significance of Biometric Authentication

Technical Illustration of Biometrics

In the latter half of the last century, we have witnessed a dynamic shift in security protocols. One primary example is video surveillance, which is now commonplace all over the world. These advancements have changed the current world as we know it. Just about everyone has a smartphone with their handy camera on hand, to name one example. They use it extensively to capture places and events with ease using technologies that were unheard of only a few decades ago.

Now, virtually no one can commit a crime in public (and in many parts of the private sector as well) without some peeping eye watching their every move. This has elevated law enforcement to achieve a new success rate, capturing hundreds of criminals who otherwise would not have been caught had there not been a camera peering on them. But with everything new, controversy follows, as incidents hit the social media venue that reflects such things as excessive use of force by police via the public’s smartphones and sometimes, police body cameras which describe the incidents as they unfolded.

In general, however, optical technology has grown to be the accepted technology used by millions to keep us safe and it works well.

With that said, fingerprint recognition, as anyone who has an iPhone 7 and 8 can testify, has transferred the notion of individual security to entirely new levels. Just place your finger on the home button of the iPhone and you are in.

There are many other related technologies that followed fingerprint recognition. Facial identification, iris and voice recognition, finger and hand geometry are also some similar developments of biometric technology.

Before we move on to discuss the positive impact of taking up biometric measures for maintaining security and databases, it is important to briefly define what entails biometric technology.

The Identification of Unique Human Physical Traits

fingerprint illustration of biotech

Biometric technology is developed on the concept that every individual is unique due to several inherent physical and anatomical features. This unique information can be used to set up databases and to devise security protocols. Biometric authentication has transformed the character of many everyday responsibilities. Let's have a look of some of these noteworthy benefits rendered by biometric authentication and its verification process.

Biometrics has Entirely Changed the Look of Databases

Gone are the days when governments had to maintain massive physical records to register their citizens. Now, with the help of biometric authentication, every citizen can be registered against his or her unique physical identity.

It is also worth mentioning that biometric databases don’t require high-end technological expertise.. The technology providing fingerprint recognition has become really inexpensive in the last decade or so. This is the reason why even underdeveloped jurisdictions have managed to adopt biometrics for maintaining their citizen records.

Biometrics For Elections

The same databases are also being used in many countries to ensure transparent elections. There are minimal chances of discrepancies in biometric voting. Besides that, biometric identification has also helped several businesses in streamlining their client databases. Unfortunately, for this technology to exist in the US, there would be so much political fallout, especially now with the ongoing Russian interference issue, it would probably take another century before it would be implemented. By that time new technologies would have materialized and then the bureaucratic merry-go-round would have started again.

Biometrics Make Security Measures Fairly Foolproof

From managing the financial confidential information to establishing the security of a premise, biometric authentication has been proven to be a game changer. For criminal elements, it’s almost impossible to hack the majority of biometric authentication processes. Additionally, biometric identity is non-transferable i.e. one can’t reassign their physical trait to someone else for any malevolent use. Few simple examples can demonstrate the effectiveness and success of biometrics security measures.

If an entry in any premises is subjected to fingerprint or iris authentication, instead of traditional entry passes and cards, then it is nearly impossible to get access into that secured parameters. People looking to get unauthorized access can temper and replicate entry cards and passes, but they can’t reproduce the unique physical and anatomical features of someone (barring sci-fi movies).

Similarly, instead of passwords and PIN access to use banking facilities, many financial institutes have implemented biometric authentications. We have repeatedly discussed in this section how ATM skimming and hacking is causing losses of millions of dollars to consumers and banks.

For that reason, many banks have incorporated cardless ATM transactions in which users can withdraw money after verifying themselves through biometrics identifications in place of entering PINs and using banking cards that are prone to tampering.

Biometric Authentications are Accurate and Convenient

Biometric tools are a great way to instill accuracy in the verification processes. For every person, there is a single unique biometric feature for authentication, and it is inherently accurate i.e. one would have a definite pattern on their thumbs and finger marks. The machine would only verify any given person if it can accurately match his pattern with the existing database. One can say that biometrics can protect the accuracy of any authentication process from human error.

Moreover, biometric authentication has also brought a whole lot of convenience for people on both ends of the process. For instance, one doesn’t require carrying cards, remembering passwords and PINs to get access to their bank accounts. If you are a part of the biometric authentication process, you are literally walking with your login credentials all the time.

Similarly, databases comprised of biometric information enable companies to use a single piece of concrete information to verify the identity of any individual. In addition, it is easier for companies to train their staff to look over the process of fingerprint authentication, retinal scanning or voice recognition.

Biometric Authentication is Adaptable and Scalable Like None Other

From a small storefront that offers cellular connections to large conglomerates, regardless of the size of operations, use of biometric technology can be witnessed in every field of life. It has become only possible because of the scalable and adaptable nature of the technology. Every business can implement biometric security measures to the level they want their security to be beefed up.

Biometric Technology Offers Good Return on Investment

Security maintenance that follows traditional protocols eats up a sizeable amount of resources. Therefore, it is always a huge concern for organizations. Biometric authentication and verification, on the other hand, offers comparatively good security ROI to organizations. With a single device and software, they can set up a really good security blanket for their operations. Stationing a security guard to allow admission to a restricted premise is a recurrent expenditure for businesses. On the other hand, the same task can be carried out with a simple fingerprint scanner, which is a one-time investment.

Biometric Processes are Time Efficient

Biometric security measures also offer a significant level of time conservation. Within a fraction of a second, the identity of any individual can be confirmed through biometrics. Establishing swift entrance practice will eventually add up to accumulative work hours.

The Other Side of the Picture

While we are discussing how biometric authentication has changed the landscape of many organizational dealings, it is also really important to enlighten our readers about the limitations and downsides of this technology. In the next article, we will try to see the other side of the picture of biometric authentication measures.

Posted On August 1, 2018