Biometric authentication technology is the hottest topic these days among businesses looking for convenient ways to provide easy access to team members to specific areas as well as ensure the safety of crucial business information or data. In the past few decades, a lot has been made about biometric authentication technology and hence it’s been loosely integrated into a lot of access control systems. It’s not just used in office spaces, but also on modern mobile devices.
What is Biometric and how does it work?
According to specialists in the field, biometrics are measurable human traits or characteristics that can be used to verify a person’s identity. The biometric can be a person’s face, tongue or fingerprints that are unique to everyone and can be measured. So these characteristics can be used to identify a person in law enforcement applications. Since 1883, biometrics have been used when French criminologist Alphonse Bertillon first used body measurements to identify repeat offenders. In modern days, the use of biometric authentication is gaining popularity in enterprises because biometrics are an effective way to control access to sensitive information.
The functioning of the Biometric system
To start using biometric authentication technology systems, you need two things to verify an individual’s identity: a device that collects or measures the characteristic and a record of that characteristic to compare your measurement to.
There are three steps to automate the biometric authentication process:
- A physical measurement device that reads the biometric characteristic
- Software that translates a biometric scan into a digital format
- A stored record of that biometric characteristic
The data of the biometric is stored in a device, which can be either on a central server or the authentication device itself. The biometric data acts like a password to get access.
Types of Biometrics
It’s a fact that any part of the human body can be measured using biometric authentication technology systems, not every biometric characteristic can be used to verify an individual’s identity. Here are some traits that can be used:
- Fingerprint Biometrics – They’re found on a person’s fingers and are unique to them.
- Behavioral Biometrics – This is the pattern in an individual’s behavior such as computer mouse movements, keystroke patterns, etc.
- Ear Biometrics – Every individual’s ear has a unique shape and can be more accurate than fingerprint recognition.
- Voice Biometrics – Research shows that voice recognition systems are 90% accurate on average.
- Facial Recognition Biometrics – The face of an individual is effective for accurately identifying them.
- Hand Geometry Biometrics – This is another method to identify an individual’s identity using hand geometry, which is unique from person to person.
- Gait Biometrics – This can be easily measured by the way a person walks to identify them.
- Retina Biometrics – Every individual has a unique pattern in the retina, making it an effective way to identify them.
The Pros and Cons of Biometric Authentication
One of the most important things about biometric authentication technology is that this is all about ensuring security using various types of biometric traits like fingerprints, voice, etc. to let individuals access a secure location in a building.
The Pros of Biometric Authentication
Biometrics Work for Security – The best part about using biometric authentication technology is that it has been proven effective to provide enhanced levels of security and privacy. The technology allows access to only authorized people into a secured premise by identifying if the person is the same he or she says they are. Unlike the other security methods like using passwords or PINs, biometrics is more effective as they do offer some security benefits.
Fast and Convenient – When you are working in an industry where time is a very crucial factor, it makes sense to have a system that lets you gain access to a secured premise, using biometric authentication is the best choice to make. The fact here is that biometric systems are quite fast and don’t take long for authentication in comparison to other methods such as pins or passwords with two-factor authentication, which usually takes a long time to work.
Can’t Fake It – We can share our passwords or PINs with anyone, but biometrics cannot be shared. For example, you cannot cut a finger to let someone else use it to gain access to a premise. This is the best part of using biometric authentication technology systems as this ensures that users can’t fake it. To gain access to the resources or premises, it is mandatory for an individual to provide authentication.
The Cons of Biometric Authentication
Technology is breachable and just like any other security method, biometric authentication also has some bad things about it, which everyone should know before implementing it to a premise.
Cost – One of the most important things that you are going to dislike about biometric authentication technology systems is the cost involved in the installation. For example, a traditional office register to note ‘In’ and ‘Out’ time, one just needs to buy a register and nothing else. Instead, using biometric authentication would involve investments in the biometric scanner, data storage device, etc. While the initial cost might seem a bad thing, it can be justified if looking at its long-term benefits.
Need for Security – Another bad thing that you may dislike about biometric authentication systems is that you need additional security for them. According to the specialists in the field, biometric data that is going to be used for identifying individuals to gain access also need to be secured from outside threats as it is irreplaceable. For example, in case a password or PIN for the data storage is compromised, there are chances that the data may get leaked so there is a need for a better security measure to protect the crucial information.
So, when you are planning to implement a biometric authentication system at the workplace, the above-mentioned information is sure to be your guide in helping make the right decision.