What is Biometrics Authentication? Different Types of Biometrics Technology and Future Trends

Biometrics authentication is the next major need, especially in this digital age where everything is being organized at your fingertips. We know, you have passwords or maybe just a trap to throw your login credentials into the dark web? All thanks to cyber-attack! Where passwords are already killed, biometrics is the only viable way to identify and authenticate individuals in a safe and quick way by specific biological features.

Till now we used to have two-factor authentication which is ‘Something you have’, and ‘Something you know’, but now we have multi-factor authentication (MFA) that has added ‘Something you are’. That’s where biometrics plays a major role in the authentication. Do your websites and apps also need top-class securities with biometrics? Keep reading this blog. It covers everything you need to know.

What is Biometrics? (Biometrics Definition)

We know that biometric is a scientific greek concept combining two terms, bio and metric. Bio refers to life and metric is the calculation. It applies, thus, to the calculation associated with the characteristics of life.

Meaning, biometrics is the measurement and examination of specific physical or behavioral characteristics that are distinctive and special to them, especially as a means of verifying personal identity.

What is Biometrics Authentication?

Biometric authentication is a security process that tests and matches the biometric characteristics of a user to ensure if it is permissible or not to grant access to a specific device.

If the biometric features of a person seeking to access a device do not fit the authorized user’s features, access to the consumer devices is rejected. Now, you know why passwords are dead, right?

What is Biometrics Technology?

As the name suggests, biometric technology typically refers to the use of technology focused on some part of their biology to identify an individual.

Two of the first and initial biometric technologies to be loosely classified under digital forensics are fingerprint recognition and facial recognition. Remember the 9/11 terrorist attack in the United States? Facial recognition systems became the talk of the world since then. The way technology worked was straightforward, as a means of detecting possible threats. However, the matching database must be as large and detailed as possible for the framework to be efficient.

How Does Biometric Authentication Work?

This is quite simple, it works only in three steps, and voila!

  • First, it compares two data – the first one is set by the device owner, while the second one belongs to the visitor of the device.
  • While matching the user data, the recognition system designs the process from each angle to be most effective.
  • If the biometric information and identity data are almost alike, identification systems recognize that ‘visitor’ and ‘owner’ are one & the same and provide access to the person.

Not to forget, the data need not be identical 100%, but nearly identical. Because it is practically impossible for two data sets to be matched exactly.

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Different Types of Biometric

Moving forward, human characteristics can be physical (visual), behavioral, and chemical. So, let’s talk about all types that you can easily use for your business security.

Different Types of Biometric

Physical Biometric Identifiers

  • Fingerprints: Due to the widespread digital transformation and use of smartphones, fingerprint scanners have become popular in recent years. Newer versions of fingerprint scanning move beyond fingerprint ridges and below the skin to assess the vascular patterns in people’s fingers are proven to be reliable. Despite their occasional inaccuracy, fingerprint scanners are among the most effective and utilized biometric technologies for everyday consumers.
  • Face Recognition: Technology for facial recognition depends on comparing thousands of separate measurements from an authorized face to the face of a person seeking to obtain entry, producing what are called faceprints. Similar to fingerprint scanners, access is allowed when an appropriate number of measurements from a customer meet the accepted face.

Check out the best facial recognition apps and more about it.

 

  • Voice Recognition: Vocal recognition technologies compare vocal features to differentiate between humans. They combine a variety of data points to create a voiceprint profile to compare to a database. You may assume that it listens to a voice, but for the development of basic shapes and sound characteristics, it mainly focuses on measuring and analyzing the mouth and throat of a speaker.
  • Signature: In-store checkouts and banks, automated signature scanners are now in common use and are a good choice for cases where consumers already plan to sign their names.
  • Eye Scanners: Several eye scanner types, including retina scanners and iris recognition, are commercially available. Retina scanners operate by focusing a bright light into the eye that allows noticeable blood vessel patterns that can be read by the scanner and stored in a database compared to accepted biometric information. Iris scanners also work the same way, but this time it scans for recognizable shapes around the pupil of the eye in the colored ring.

Behavioral Biometric Identifiers

  • Typing Style: The speed and the amount of time a person takes from one letter to another, the rhythm in which individual type characters on a keyboard or keypad, the degree of impact on the keyboard, etc. are major biometrics for authentication. And we know everyone has their own style to type, so this can be the most effective pattern to identify a false representation.
  • Navigation Style: Finger movement, keyboard movement, scrolling movement, mouse movement on the screens & computer are generally considered as navigation style biometrics. If the movement is detected to be different than stored data, the system will lock the device immediately.
  • Interaction Style: Technology is connecting people, but all in a different way. Apps are to be used by all of us, but which app and at what time and for how much time we use is not the same, right? How often we go to a particular app and how much time spent on social media is actually the means of identifying a person’s behavior. So to differentiate users from bots, these action habits will be used, until and unless the bots get better at copying humans.
  • Physical Style: How do you tilt your phone when you hold it? How do you walk with the phone? When the company has to provide high data protection authorities in critical areas, certain behavioral biometric elements can be a life savior.

Chemical & Vein Biometric Identifiers

  • DNA: Such scanners are used by law enforcement to identify criminals. However, this was slow at the beginning, but now it has come out to be rendered a DNA data match in minutes at a reasonable cost.
  • Vein Recognition: It is the type that can be used to classify individuals in the human finger or palm based on the vein patterns.

Biometric Authentication Advantages and Disadvantages

Biometric authentication methods and their uses in advanced technologies and automated applications have a range of benefits. Need to know what they are? Read below.

AdvantagesDisadvantages

✔ Easy to Use
A fingerprint or iris scan is much easier to use than a long and irritating password. Detecting a fingerprint and allowing a person to open the phone just takes a second for all modern smartphones.

✔ Not Transferable
You can’t transfer your fingers to someone else like a password, until and unless you cut them! It requires a present authorization and a physical application being the only way to access most biometric authentication schemes. So rest assured that no one can hack your device, except it is you!

✔ No Spoofing
As it is not possible to transfer your fingers, it is equally impossible to reproduce biometrics such as facial markings, fingerprints, iris scanning even with advanced technologies. Also, do you think your fingerprints can match with someone? In fact, you have more shot to win a lottery than having the same fingerprint as a hacker seeking to get into your account that is secured by biometrics.

✔ Great User Experience
Although the internal mechanisms for biometric authentication are technical, it is extremely simpler and quicker from a user’s point of view than password protections. Also, losing a password is a common error for the majority of users. Are there any chances that you put your biometrics somewhere and forgot it? Maybe in dreams!

✘ High Cost
We know that the more complex defense framework would ask for more considerable investment and expense and it is no shock. But, most users also need to update existing technologies to accommodate a change to biometric authentication on their smartphones. So that can be a concern.

✘ Breach of Data
Businesses and governments that gather and retain personal biometric data from users are under persistent hacker attacks. Since biometric data is irreplaceable, companies need to handle confidential biometric data with enhanced vigilance and care in order to stay ahead of fraud developments.

✘ False Positives
Biometric authentication factors rely on partial knowledge to authenticate the identity of a person. For example, during the enrollment process, mobile biometric systems can scan an entire fingerprint and translate it into data. Future biometric fingerprint verification, though, can only use portions of the prints to check identities, so it can give false positives sometimes.

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Biometric Technology Trends 2021

Biometric Technology Trends

  1. Mobile Biometric Technologies

    The more mobile app development trends are driving the digital change, the more handy and effective security we need. That’s why it has made our list. Mobile biometrics means to achieve human biometric authentication with the portability to be conveniently transferred or moved from one position to another on a mobile device. The truth is that in a controlled office of personnel management setting, individual biometric identification will not always be sufficient. Often people go to public places, so mobile-based biometric application development has become important. And that’s what sparked this trend in the limelight and will be the major need of all enterprises in 2021.

  2. Cloud-Based Biometric Technologies

    Of course, this trend is 100% triggered by mobile biometric. When you think of combining mobile biometric systems with a cloud-based biometric solution, it will help speed up the process of authentication. Sending the biometric data to the cloud is a better option, instead of storing the biometric data locally. Cloud computing also enables the organization to conveniently upscale or downscale its IT requirements as needed. So who can resist this much convenience? You can build your own cloud-based application that runs the computational processing logic and data storage for two separate structures like client-side and server-side.

  3. Multi-Modal Biometric Identification Technologies

    The next trend on our list is multimodal biometric. To ensure authentication accuracy, multimodal biometric systems take input from a single or multiple biometric devices for the calculation of two or more distinct biometric characteristics. Why this can be a major need is because having a single form of biometrics for authentication is no longer an effective option for many companies.

  4. Vertical Customized Biometric Technologies

    Most companies adopt the face unlock solution and fingerprint attendance schemes of biometrics with vertical advanced platforms because customization is the need of the hour. Such types of solutions are designed to satisfy the specific criteria of their respective sectors. These are customized by keeping local and international manufacturing law enforcement and regulations in view. This can be the next hit as it has the potential to give you the biggest competitive advantage over other peers who are not yet adopting it.

  5. Single Sign-on Biometric Technologies

    The biggest reason why this is on our list is passwords are becoming weak. So to ensure security, most companies & IT professionals have already adopted single sign-on biometric systems (SSO) instead of a password. Imagine where workers have to log into several databases and have separate passwords for each of them. Any time they need to, it is hard to recall all the passwords and log-in. That’s why corporations are now selecting a complete biometric single SSO. It makes the operation easier and provides tremendous productivity at work.

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    9 Industries Biometrics Technology Could Transform

    Biometrics technology is deployed through a host of sectors beyond using your fingerprint reader or face to access your cell phone, with some regions having more advanced usage than others. Let’s shed some light on each.

    1. Food & Beverage

      It is common to have food and beverage factories situated in many countries around the world. And the wider the business is, the more security it asks for. So to ensure it, biometric can be integrated to track employee access levels and approvals remotely as it minimizes the risk. Also, it prohibits unwanted persons from entering the property at all. For example, Coca-Cola uses biometric fingerprint systems to monitor the behavior of individual truck drivers accessing some canning sites.

    2. Healthcare

      When there’s a talk of health, privacy and security can never be overlooked. And what’s more good than helping humans with their own biometrics? It can help the healthcare industry enable quicker detection of patients in emergency cases and protecting the privacy of patients. One of the best examples is New York’s Northwell Health that conveniently uses iris scans to address security issues.

      Also, find out how virtual healthcare is empowering the healthcare industry.

    3. Hospitality

      It is not new that from instant check-in to identification-based customized preferred services, the hotel industry has begun to accept biometrics. Facial recognition to identify a person is rising as a new way to provide consumers with more customized services. Let’s take the example of Marriott International. It takes less than a minute to test its facial recognition check-in kiosk in two hotels in China, with the whole process.

    4. Retail

      We know the biggest player in the industry is Amazon. It has been playing with payments, advertising positioning, and fraud prevention with a biometric recognition software system for a while now. Plus, lately, distributors are also considering using biometrics technologies to optimize in-store commercials and promotions. For example, Amazon is now testing a scanner to identify a person’s hand as a means of using computer vision and depth geometry to ring up a shop buy.

    5. Automotive

      If not anywhere else, the automotive industry needs the most high-quality biometrics techniques, mainly for driver safety. The basic security systems that lock, unlock, and start a vehicle can become standard security such as iris or fingerprint scanner. A real-life example is Porsche that was introduced to create a multi-factor authentication (MFA) prototype. It uses real-time facial recognition technology plus some additional authentication via smartphone, which enables drivers to get into their cars without key fobs.

      Want to know more about an automotive repair app for your business idea? Check out the top most reasons to develop an automotive repair app for your auto mechanic garage shop.

    6. Law & Justice Enforcement

      We know the two most reliably-used forms of testimony in a criminal case are DNA and fingerprints. Officers can hold personal computers that can check the fingerprints of a suspect easily and compare them to fingerprint recognition systems. Once, NYPD officers with facial scanning surveillance software systems identified the mysterious man who ignited terror by placing a pair of rice cookers in a subway. Even before their bomb-squad colleagues had learned the equipment was harmless. Can you imagine the impact of face-scanning technologies now?

    7. Education

      As you know, school faculty often need to access student grades and personal information. And that’s why the security measure within the school has recently become a growing authentication challenge in the world. But thanks to facial recognition technologies! It can quickly identify any unauthorized presence within school grounds. Students may also benefit from a software system for recognizing biometrics that would allow recognition for online research.

    8. Country Border Access Control

      With the global adoption of self-serve kiosks in airports and military bases, a database of facial, iris, and fingerprint scans is gradually being compiled by government security agencies to help detect any terrorists or offenders. As the next identity authentication process, biometrics may also theoretically replace missing or falsified passports. For incoming travelers from visa waiver countries, Orlando international airport has also launched automated biometric kiosks.

    9. Banking & Financial Services

      Biometric has been a strategic part of authentication platforms for financial institutions, whether for credit cards, ATMs, or online portals, as financial services become more digital. For instance, Citibank has been providing recognition voice authentication technology since 2016 to verify consumer identity to escape the key forms of increasing fraud, including online fraud, identity theft, and biometric data theft.

    FAQ

    1. What does biometric authentication mean?

      Biometric authentication technologies refer to security protocols that through special biological characteristics such as retinas, irises, voices, facial expressions, and fingerprints, validate the identity of a person.

    2. How do biometric authentication systems work?

      Biometric verification technologies compare biometric data capture to authentic, verified data stored in a database.

    3. What is an example of biometric authentication?

      Fingerprint, face recognition (face id), iris, recognition voice, touch id cards, smart cards for palm print, blood vessels or blood vessel patterns, retina, hand geometry, expression, signature, and gait are examples of biometric traits.

    4. Is biometric authentication safe?

      Yes. The biometric authentication factor is an incredibly safe way for computers and different applications to log in.

    5. Who needs biometrics?

      Companies and businesses who need to recognize an individual easily and retain the utmost data protection are expected to use biometrics.

    6. How accurate is biometrics?

      No technology (machine learning or artificial intelligence) is accurate 100%, yet the single-finger tests are believed to be 98% accurate, two-finger tests are 99% accurate, and four-finger tests achieved an incredible 99.5% accuracy.

    7. Where is biometrics used? Use cases

      Amazon, Paypal, Alibaba, Coca-Cola, KFC are the biggest use cases of the biometrics market.

    8. Why do we need biometric authentication?

      The use of a biometric identification system creates a strong connection between a person and a data record, unlike the use of other types of authentication factors, such as passwords or tokens.

    9. What will be the future of biometrics?

      The authentication system can be made more safe and simple, with biometric such as fingerprint scanning, facial and voice recognition, and even iris recognition will become more common in smartphones in the future.

    10. How biometric technology will be used in the future?

      Airport security, identity and access management, building access, and mobile-based biometric software system are some of the trends that will be widely used in the future.

    11. What is the most reliable biometric technique?

      Iris detection is commonly recognized as the easiest and most precise biometric authentication tool that takes images of your eyes to validate your identity and maps your distinctive iris pattern.

    12. Is Biometrics an emerging technology?

      Yes. Biometrics ranked fifth on the emerging technologies (machine learning) list for 2020.

    Conclusion

    Biometric security has grown strongly, with more and more users depending on it and even requiring it. So do you use any of these biometric solutions? Or yet to build biometric software for your business? Our expert software developer team can build any type of solution that suits your needs. We have years of expertise in building and delivering startup-based to enterprise-based software solutions. Just write to us and get a free quote for your project requirements. We will get back to you with all possible support soon. See you there!

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Author Bio
Rakesh Patel
Rakesh Patel
Designation: Co-founder and CEO of Space-O Technologies

Mr. Rakesh Patel is a Founder and CEO of Space-O Canada. He has 28 years of IT experience in business strategies, operations & information technology. He has expertise in various aspects of business like project planning, sales, and marketing, and has successfully defined flawless business models for the clients. A techie by mind and a writer at heart, he has authored two books – Enterprise Mobility: Strategy & Solutions and A Guide To Open311.