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Biometrics is undergoing mainstream adoption in finance, telecommunications, and healthcare. Companies in these industries handle sensitive information daily and using such technologies are essential for their security.

If you’re looking to adopt a biometric security system for your organization, it’s essential to know how they operate to ensure proper usage. To get you started, the guide below will provide a brief overview of how biometric authentication works.

How Does Biometric Authentication Work?

A biometric system records and analyzes a person’s biological data for accurate identity proofing. When a user is enrolled into the system, a unique template is created and used for proper authentication.

Two sets of data are compared, the first being preset by the device owner and the second belonging to a device visitor. Note that the term “visitor” is used because only when the visitor’s data matches the preset of the owner will they be authenticated. This authentication is done through careful analysis, typically with complex and patented or proprietary algorithms used to match the biometric data templates.

Through this process, biometric solutions can accurately verify an individual’s identity. Integration of biometric technology is highly beneficial for organizations that regularly use sensitive data since any fraudulent attempts to access their database can easily be identified and restricted.

Biometric Types

The use of biometrics has existed for hundreds of years in one way or another. Humans have used biological features to authenticate or verify people, whether through physical descriptions or photographs. Today, two types of biometrics are used for authentication: physical attributes and behavioral singularities.

Physical biometrics refers to features on a human body that a person can be identified with, such as fingerprints or facial features. In contrast, behavioral biometrics are behavior patterns or habits unique to a specific person, like the rhythm of how they type on their keyboard.

Physical Biometrics

1: Fingerprint scanning

Fingerprints have ridge patterns that can be used to identify people. Since a person’s fingerprint is unique to them and remains relatively the same throughout their life, it can serve as an effective authentication factor.  However, it’s important to note that finger shape may change over time so new fingerprint scans may be required periodically.

2: Facial recognition

Facial recognition analyzes facial features, looking for patterns to authenticate or recognize an identity. With the continued pressures of COVID-19, facial recognition algorithms are being adjusted to focus on facial features above the cheekbone, rather than full-face geometry.

3: Iris scanning

Iris scanning is done by first locating the pupil, then detecting the iris and eyelids but excluding the other unnecessary parts. The iris is divided into blocks that are converted into numerical values. After which, the system will match the new data with the existing one to verify the identity.

4: Palm print recognition

Similar to fingerprint scanning, palm print recognition analyzes the unique features of a person’s hand. Apart from careful analysis of the hand’s geometry, palm scanners make use of optical and thermal scanning to flesh out details such as scars, ridges, and creases. All these bits of information are used for accurate identity proofing.

5: Palm vein scanning

Palm vein scanning is a recently developed form of biometric authentication. Palm vein scanners make use of infrared illumination to expose the unique vein patterns in a person’s palms and the scanned data is then used for proper identification. 

6: Vocal analysis

A vocal analysis relies on the distinct characteristics each person’s voice has, such as the quality of how that person creates speech.

Behavioral Biometrics

  • Signature recognition

Signature recognition is a biometric method used to analyze the physical process of signing by studying different factors like pen pressure, stroke order, inclination, and speed. The measurements are recorded digitally, which creates a biometric profile for future authentication.

  • Typing cadence

Also called keystroke recognition, this measures and compares specific ways a person types on a keyboard. With the use of mobile phones and swipe keyboards, this can become even more nuanced.

  • Gait Recognition

Some researchers are working on systems that base this recognition on video cameras to analyze movements of each body part such as the knee, foot, shoulder, arms, and more.

4 Ways to Maximize Biometric Systems

1: Conduct testing and plan for sudden malfunctions

Assessing your authentication security is always beneficial, especially if it’s done with an eye to optimization. Specific environments and tests are helpful to ensure a fool-proof rollout.

2: Educate employees on proper usage

What’s the use of biometric solutions if none of your employees know how to use the software? Provide your employees with guidelines and helpful training to ensure understanding of the system. Remind them that it’s vital to know the ins and out of biometrics as it coincides with data security.

3: Have a backup plan

Suppose a user fails to verify their identity due to a circumstance such as a power outage or equipment malfunction; additional security measures can provide them with secondary access.

4: Work closely with your biometric system vendor

The effectiveness of biometric technology would depend on its build. Each piece of equipment varies depending on where your business operates, what the environment is, who will use the software, etc. Make sure to work closely with a system vendor that ticks off your checklist.

Proven and Verified

There are several ways to provide your organization and users with top-notch security. Apart from traditional passwords and pins, supplementing your security system with biometric systems will ensure the safety of all stakeholders. Now that you’re aware of the different biometric types, it will be much easier for you to identify which solutions will best fit your needs.

To ensure the security of your stakeholders, make it a point to partner with the experts. Backed up with expertise and experience, Q5id is the go-to company for your data security needs. Contact us today to learn more!