Biometric Security: Winning Tactics for cybersecurity
Biometric technique has an age long history. It is a Greek word that combined ‘bio meaning Life’ and ‘Metric Meaning Measurement’. Humans identify others by recognizing their facial features, voice, and other noteworthy features. The ancient biometric system in form of finger printing was used in china in the 14th century according to Joao de Barros, Portuguese historian. The system was used by the Chinese merchant to distinguish babies from one another by stamping their palm and footprints on paper with ink as a form of pattern recognition system. The only difference is that there is a new technological mix to this age long security measure with use of sensors and scanners.
In today’s digital space, many activities are being carried out on the computer systems and there is the need for flexible, simplistic and reliable secured system. Lack of a secure system poses a huge challenge and concern for organizations and individuals. Daily, there are threats and vulnerabilities, security breaches, fraudulent transactions are on the increase. This has made the adoption of the technique by the public sector, banking, airport security, health industry, stock exchange, retailing, online/ internet platforms, defense and so on. Then, what is biometric security?
Biometrics security is an innovation that is being embraced by many individual and organization security systems. It is proved to be a useful tool used as a unique identifier for identity verification. This technique is a reliable method used to identity recognition, based on behavioral and physical characteristics such as the face, DNA patterns, vein/vascular patterns, walking recognition to mention but a few. The sensor device used can be telephone for voice recognition, digital cameras for facial and ear recognition, electronic pen for signature and can operate either in identification or verification mode.
The verification mode is the system that helps to validate identity by the comparison of the captured biometric data to the template saved in the database used for recognition on a positive basis. In the identification mode, the biometric data is captured by the system and searched the template so as to not find a match to the data provided by the user. An individual or a person becomes the key to unlock access to a data/ information.
Why Biometric Security?
Biometric security is fast becoming a favorite technique and a trouble free way of securing information/ data than using passwords; for example, using our finger or thumbs impressions makes it unique and the job easier. The technique provides a highly-secure identification and verification solution to the multifarious challenging security issues.
Biometric security reduces hacking activities as it isn’t easy for people t hack fingerprints or thumbprints unlike hacking a password or pass code. This security system doesn’t require memorization methods compared to setting strong passwords.
Biometric security is increasingly being employed t verify individual identity based on physical/ behavioral traits through measurement and analysis of the aforementioned traits. This recognition system using a sensor device acquires users’ data and converts them to a digital code to determine the authenticity of specific behavioral or physiological traits.
Biometric security measures and fingerprints are made available on Laptops, desktop computers, USB memory sticks to make data more secure and prevent unauthorized access to deter thefts or fraudulent activities. The use of video analytics of CCTV and Meta data can help to recognize people, situations or events, tag them in detail and identify behavior that poses as threats.
An efficient and effective biometric security system reduces the money spent and the time wasted on security issues due to breaches of security, replacing locks, or having to reset passwords at the long run.
Types of Biometric Security
Behavioral Biometrics: this is a security system used to recognize the patterns unique to individuals which entails how they speak; walking style, facial expressions, typing style on a keyboard can be used for identification indication when tracked.
Biological Biometrics: this is a security system that utilizes genetic and molecular traits such as DNA or blood samples can be used as a verification tool to determine the authenticity of a person or individual.
Morphological Biometrics: this system involves the structure of the human body. The physiological traits such as the finger/thumbprints, eye/ear, and the shape of the face thoroughly scanned to match with the database.
How Biometric Security Works
Biometric security plays a major role in everyday security. The fingerprints are the most widely used biometric measure all over the world as recorded by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) with its 98.6 accuracy rate. Physical traits are unique to individuals and each person’s identity can be used to replace pass code or passwords for mobile phones, computers/ Laptops or even restrict access to infrastructures such as rooms, buildings, gates and so on.
Biometric scanners which are hardware are used to capture the data needed for identification or verification in order to match the stored data against the database stored information to grant approval, access or deny access to the system. The obtained and mapped biometric data/information is saved to be matched for future purposes, attempts or required access. In other ways, the data can be encrypted and saved within a remote server or a device.
The Bottom Rule
The biometric security is a promising tool to verify identity for cybersecurity; even with its slight issues, it will continue to evolve in years to come.
Though, there are privacy concerns such as storage, confidence, authenticity, linking, ubiquity and vulnerability that make people distrust and resist the adoption of system. The system might not be the cure at the moment as it isn’t error-proof but the privacy issues will be taken care of at the long run. The system seems not to be going anywhere and the aforementioned issues will be addressed to strengthen biometric security system.
The system shouldn’t be viewed as a total replacement of passwords but be implemented together to enhance security. The combination with other authentication measures known as multi-factor serves as one of the strongest security rather than using a standalone passcode or character-based verification system.
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