Biometric authentication and authorization are gaining popularity every year. Many organizations use customer biometrics in their work now. Although this method is one of the most reliable at the moment, it has both undeniable benefits and some disadvantages. Read about how safe it is to use biometrics and protect such data with device fingerprinting and other anti-fraud solutions below.
What Is Biometric Authorization
The term biometrics encompasses a wide range of parameters such as fingerprints, iris patterns, voice, handwriting, etc. Biometric authentication means recognizing a user based on this unique data.
This method’s principle of operation is quite simple for customers, although it has complex systems behind it. When you register, you need to provide a “sample,” putting your finger on a reader or saying a phrase into your microphone. After that, a special mechanism processes the received data and stores it in its database as a template.
For the subsequent logins, you need to provide the sample again so that the recognition systems can determine that it is really you. This method allows you to quickly provide customers with access to services and identify people under the authorities’ supervision.
Spheres of Application
Biometric authentication is primarily applied in those companies that work with money and process confidential information. It is used in banking to secure payments, protect devices and funds, and provide access to buildings or separate premises. In large businesses, biometrics are increasingly used in corporate networks when organizing access. Not so long ago, ATM models appeared, access to which is carried out after biometric verification. The most significant projects for this type of identification are implemented at a state level.
Pros of This Method
Biometric authentication is considered one of the most secure methods for the following reasons:
- Unlike passwords and code phrases, data such as an iris or fingerprint are inseparable from your identity; that is, it is almost impossible to transfer them to another user. Many parameters do not change over time and are an accurate identifier of a person.
- Besides, such biological information is extremely difficult to fake or replicate without the presence of an actual owner. Modern solutions have reliable protection against such falsifications.
- The high speed of obtaining access is another advantage of such authorization for clients. They do not need to memorize and manually enter complex passwords. They simply need, for example, to put their finger on a scanner.
- For owners of companies that have implemented this method, it is much easier to manage access rights to specific information. In a matter of seconds, you can change the list of permitted employees.
Biometrics greatly enhances data security, but it should be considered part of a whole set of measures to protect confidential information in any situation.
Cons of This Method
Of course, biometrics has its weak points, because of which it is not worth relying on it only. Among the main disadvantages, the following aspects can be highlighted:
- Such systems do not provide 100% protection since there is always the probability of so-called false acceptance when access is given to an unauthorized user and false rejection when a trusted client does not get access to their own data. Although such errors account for about 1%, they should still be considered.
- The introduction of such a method requires additional costs from a company. It requests not only the installation of sophisticated equipment and software but also the hiring and training of employees responsible for the operation of such systems.
- There are times when it is impossible to scan someone’s hand or eye. There are rare cases when a user has got some kind of injury or illness, which makes it difficult or impossible to scan their iris, fingerprint, or analyze the voice (a common flu can be a huge problem).
- The data cannot be changed. It may be necessary if it has been stolen and used in illegal activities. Unlike a password, you have no way to make a new fingerprint. The only way out is not to use it in the future.
Because of the disadvantages listed above, biometric data should be considered highly confidential information, so special attention should be given to its protection.
Biometric Data Security
Summing up the above, you can conclude that biometric authorization is a convenient and effective method. Nevertheless, it should be combined with other ways so that fingerprints, voice, and face pictures cannot be faked. For fraudsters, biometric data is attractive because it slightly changes over the life of a user. Therefore, the owners of companies that store and process information of this kind should use reliable protection methods like KYC or device fingerprinting that allow you to identify intruders before they can harm your brand or customers. With the help of such systems, any data of your customers, including biometric ones, will be safe.