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With technology evolving rapidly, companies worldwide utilize the latest tools to keep their competitive edge. While innovation should be celebrated, the progress of technology has also paved the way for cybercrime. 

Coping with the risk of cyberattacks and fraud is why authentication systems such as biometric cybersecurity have grown in use over the past few years.

Identity fraud is a rampant nuisance to many Americans, with 33% victimized by the crime. In 2020, 2.2 million reports on identity theft were filed with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Moreover, the FTC also noted that someone becomes a victim of identity fraud every 14 seconds, further emphasizing its prevalence.

To combat this threat, organizations should incorporate biometrics to provide an added layer of security. The benefits of biometrics, specifically biometric authentication and verification, mitigate risks such as synthetic identity fraud and ransomware.

What is Biometric Authentication?

Biometric authentication is a security process that uses a person’s unique characteristics, like facial features, fingerprints, or voice. Because these are inherently only found in a person, biometric authentication has proven reliable in keeping information or data safe from unwanted entities. 

For companies, biometric authentication gives some reassurance that other people can’t access sensitive records since the login credentials are unique and can’t be easily replicated. Additionally, if you’re an authorized person, biometrics is a fast way to access data, which provides convenience to the user experience. 

Because it requires specific credentials to access information, the biometric authentication process is recognized by many organizations as quick and safe to use. There are many ways to implement biometrics into your processes and operations. 

1. Fingerprint

Out of the three, fingerprint identification is the most widely accessible biometric tool. Fingerprint biometrics is commonly implemented in handheld technology, such as cell phones, laptops, and tablets. Its scope also extends into the fields of forensics and security. 

2. Facial recognition

Recent technological development has also paved the way for your face to be a reliable biometric tool. Facial recognition identifies or measures unique facial features and placement of a person in an image or video. 

The process involves automation to use data and algorithm checks to compare and match two faces so it verifies that both belong to the same person. Currently, you can find this biometric used in airport security and fintech. Among its benefits include efficient security and improved accuracy.

3. Voice recognition

Like its fingerprint counterpart, voice recognition is a widely used biometric verification tool. It’s also used for lifestyle purposes; the best example would be how smart devices have assistants like Siri or Alexa. 

Most voice recognition technology uses speech recognition software to break down a person’s voice and speech pattern. The data presented after the process is converted into a digital format and analyzed afterward. Following this, the technology provides the best possible response to the user. 

The Biometric Authentication Process

Whereas biometric verification only happens once throughout a process’s lifespan, biometric authentication occurs regularly. The frequency of the authentication process is meant to prove to the verification tool that the biometric data presented matches the ID and is from a real person in real-time. 

1. The biometric data should match the ID

When you log in with your biometric data, the system goes through its database to find a verified identity. Often, they pull up government records, data, and identification as a cross-checking reference point to provide a reliable and accurate representation of the person’s identity. 

2. A real person presents the biometric data

This stage of the process ensures that the person trying to access your information is a real person and not artificial intelligence (AI), a photo, a video, or a mask. 

3. The data presented should be valid in real-time

The last part of the process also involves liveness checks to ensure the person trying to access the data is present at the time of the attempt. 

What is Biometric Verification?

Biometric verification matches a person’s unique biometric makeup, like facial characteristics, fingerprints, and vocal identification, with a valid identification document. These documents typically range from driver’s licenses, passports, and similar documents issued by the government.

The Biometric Verification Process

Biometric verification often takes place once but is needed to fully access the product or service you’re applying for, usually done during the onboarding, enrolling, or opening stages.

An example of a biometric verification process is when you apply for a new bank account for the first time. In this scenario, the bank may request that you first show or scan your valid identification document. Most people would use passports or driver’s licenses to have proof of their identities. 

Once the bank has a record of your ID, they’ll request a similarity check, meaning a photo or scan of your face. It provides the bank or other similar institutions a reference between whom the person is verified based on their ID and the person applying for an account. 

If the person applying doesn’t match the person on the ID, this signals a red flag that identity theft is occurring. 

For online applications, an optional step called the liveness check may be added to the verification process. Liveness checks refer to a system that analyzes a person’s selfie photos during an application and validates if the user is physically present or if they lifted the selfie from an image. Through this verification tool, you can tell if the person is the verified ID owner or if they’re fake. 

Similarities and Differences Between Biometric Authentication and Verification

Both biometric authentication and verification utilize your information, such as government-issued identification records and your biometric data. It allows them both to determine if the person trying to access their systems is authorized. 

Furthermore, they enable different entities to cross-check a person or applicant across government documents and detect fraudulent activity early on. 

Although both use the same biometric tools and information databases, the biometric authentication vs. verification discourse continues since many consider the two interchangeable. 

Biometric authentication is a systematic process to validate a returning user’s biometrics across the ones presented during their enrollment period. This process aims to ensure that only the right people effectively access their information, making for a safe and generally secure transaction. 

On the other hand, the verification process ensures that your biometrics are checked against the government-issued ID you’ve presented during the onboarding period. Normally this happens once at the beginning of your application process, so you have full access to the services offered by the company. 

The Power of Biometric Authentication

Both biometric authentication and verification work hand-in-hand to ensure proper identity proofing and authentication. In addition to keeping you safe from fraudulent clients, it provides an added layer of internal security and improves your Know Your Employee (Know Your Employee (KYE) process)

If you want your company to take cybersecurity to the next level, consult with recognized professionals in the field. Q5id offers its proven identity and access management solutions. Got any questions? Feel free to get in touch with us today.

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