It’s no secret that the technology sector has made great strides in the past couple of years. It’s produced all sorts of tech, each one more innovative than the last. Often, each piece of tech is only useful in one particular industry. 5G networks, for instance, shine the brightest in the telecommunications sector, but it’s completely obsolete, perhaps, even detrimental, in the aviation industry.
However, occasionally, the tech industry will produce technologies that are relevant or, at least, has some use in every industry. Biometric security is one example.
What Is Biometric Security?
Biometric security is a form of security that utilizes a person’s biological information as an authentication factor in a security system. For your reference, an authentication factor is any data that a system asks users to verify their identity and, subsequently, grant authorization.
Using biological information as an authentication factor is an excellent approach since it’s often unique to a user. This method makes breaches from unauthorized persons less likely to occur. Put simply, it’s an innovative approach to security. But, beyond its basic functionality, there’s much more to learn about the technology. Read on to learn more about biometric security.
1. Different Types Of Biometric Security
There are generally five leading types of biometric security devices. Here’s a look at each type:
- Finger recognition
- Facial recognition
- Iris recognition
- Retina recognition
- Voice recognition
The main difference between each type is the kind of biological information or biometrics they require from the user. So, as their names imply, they require either the user’s fingerprints, facial features, iris, retina, or voice. Each type has its own set of strengths and weaknesses.
Organizations typically combine more than one type to maximize their security. A company’s database, for example, may require both the fingerprints and voice of an authorized person.
2. Advantages Of Biometric Security
Before biometric security, there were other types of security. Physical security and two-factor authentication are some examples. These, and many others, are excellent forms of security in their own ways. However, biometric security offers benefits that set it apart from its alternatives. These include:
- Biological measurements (biometrics) are difficult and, in some cases, impossible to fabricate. Fingerprints, for instance, are harder to ‘steal’ than access cards or keys.
- It reduces the likelihood of locking oneself out. It’s all too common to lock yourself out of your phone or account as a result of forgetting your password. Interestingly enough, such occurrences aren’t exclusive to personal accounts. Also, these occasionally happen to company systems, and only this time there’s a lot at stake. Biometric security makes such incidents less likely since there’s no need to memorize one’s biometrics.
- Biometric security is more convenient than physical security. For your reference, physical security is the type of security that requires cards, keys, or any other physical object to gain access to a system. One problem with this kind is it can be inconvenient if you forget to bring the required object. In biometric security, you don’t have to bring anything since the ‘object’ is yourself., or your body, to be precise.
As you can see, there’s a reason why biometric security became prevalent in many industries.
3. Disadvantages Of Biometric Security
It’s important to note that biometric security isn’t without flaws. It might be arguably more advanced than its alternatives, but it has disadvantages as well. Here are some examples:
- Individuals with conditions that affect their biometrics may not be able to benefit from biometric security. For example, a biometric security system may not accurately record the biometrics of people with eye diseases or exceptionally dark irises.
- It’s relatively easy to trick subpar biometric security systems using selfies or other photos that contain the necessary biometrics. However, it’s worth noting that if the biometric system is designed properly, there should be a feature that tackles such an exploit.
- The accuracy isn’t 100%. Factors like the sunlight and the cleanliness of the camera sensor may affect the system’s detection accuracy. But, admittedly, this is a fault that all types of security systems have.
As incredible as it might be, biometric security also has its fair share of flaws. That’s why rather than relying on biometric security alone, experts would often advise companies to integrate other forms of security to make up for its weaknesses.
4. Real-Life Applications Of Biometric Security
Biometric technology has been around since the 1960s, but it’s only recently that it became prevalent as a means of security. Nevertheless, it already has numerous applications.
Here are some examples of its real-life applications in different industries:
- Military systems can now detect allies or enemies through their biometrics.
- Corporate companies use biometric security systems to ensure only the owner, partners, contractors, and employees can access confidential information.
- Commercial applications can sometimes require customers’ biometrics.
- Healthcare systems may require the biometrics of beneficiaries or patients to ensure patient data are safe from malicious people.
- Travel agencies use biometric security to prevent non-passengers from boarding.
Biometric security used to only be present in spy movies, but today, it’s a prevalent form of security in various industries. In fact, you probably use biometric security every day through your smartphone. You can expect the technology to become more prevalent for years to come.
Biometric security is most likely going to be one of the most commonly-used security measures in the next few years. You’ll likely encounter it when you’re traveling, using apps, or going to work. Hence, it’s a good idea to learn about it now. Hopefully, this article is enough to give you a basic idea of how biometric security works and what it has to offer.