What is Biometric authentication & its Types?

Biometric authentication is a security process of the user identity verification process that involves biological input, or the scanning or analysis of some part of the body such as fingerprints, palm or finger vein patterns, iris features, and voice or faces patterns.

Biometric authentication systems store this biometric data in order to verify a user’s identity when that user accesses their account because this data is unique to individual users, biometric authentication is generally more secure than traditional forms of multi-factor authentication.

The data stored is then compared to the person’s biometric data to be authenticated If both samples of the biometric data match, authentication is confirmed.

Biometric authentication technologies are becoming the foundation of an extensive array of highly secure identification and personal verification solutions.

Biometric authentication methods are used to protect many different kinds of systems – from logical systems facilitated through hardware access points to physical systems protected by physical barriers, such as secure facilities and protected research sites. Biometric authentications-based solutions are able to provide for confidential financial transactions and personal data privacy. 

Behavioral characteristics such as keystroke dynamics – a measure of the way that a user types, analyzing features such as typing speed and the amount of time they “dwell” on a given key – can also be used to authenticate a user.

Biometric authentication is widely known as the most effective type of authentication because it is extremely difficult to transfer biological material or features from one user to another.

Types of biometric authentication  

1. Fingerprint Recognition


Fingerprint Recognition Biometric authentication includes taking a fingerprint image of a person and records its features like arches, whorls, and loops along with the outlines of edges, minutiae, and furrows. Matching of the Fingerprint can be attained in three ways, such as minutiae, correlation, and ridge.

2. Retina scans 

Retina Scans Biometric authentications produces an image of the blood vessel pattern in the light-sensitive surface lining the individual’s inner eye. 

3. Face Recognition


Visual Biometric The analysis of facial features or patterns for the authentication or recognition of an individual’s identity. Most face recognition systems either use eigenfaces or local feature analysis.

4. Iris Recognition


Iris recognition is one type of Biometric authentication method used to identify the people based on single patterns in the region of ring-shaped surrounded the pupil of the eye. Generally, the iris has a blue, brown, gray or green color with difficult patterns that are noticeable upon close inspection.

4. Vein Recognition Biometric authentication

Vein recognition is a type of Biometric authentication that can be used to identify individuals based on the vein patterns in the human finger or palm.

5. Voice Recognition 

Voice recognition technology is used to produce speech patterns by combining behavioral and physiological factors that can be captured by processing speech technology. The most important properties used for speech authentication are nasal tone, fundamental frequency, inflection, cadence. 

6. Hand/Palmprint patterns Biometric authentication

By placing your hand on a scanner, you not only have a unique fingerprint pattern, but the size and shape of your entire hand are also very unique. It differs from a unique finger impression in that it likewise contains other data, for example, touch, indents, and symbols which can be utilized when contrasting one palm with another.

Handprints can be used for criminal, forensic or commercial applications. The main difficulty of a handprint is that the print changes with time depending on the type of work the person is doing for an extended duration of time.

7. Signature Recognition Biometric authentication

The Biometric authentication of an individual by the analysis of handwriting style, in particular, the signature. There are two key types of digital handwritten signature authentication, Static and Dynamic.

Static is most often a visual comparison between one scanned signature and another scanned signature, or a scanned signature against an ink signature. Technology is available to check two scanned signatures using advanced algorithms. 

8. Gait Recognition

Gait recognition uses the way someone walks to identify them. Since each person walks a little differently, the way they put one foot in front of another is an effective way to verify their identity.

We expect gait recognition (and other technologies like it) to become more common in the future as forms of continuous authentication become more popular

Advantages of Biometric Authentication

Biometric authentication enables online businesses to reliably authenticate users for regular logins, high-risk transactions, and for a variety of emerging use cases.

Biometrics authentication is the next stage for authentication. And it’s true, it’s much harder to fake someone’s voice, fingerprint, iris, etc.

Biometric authentication also offer superior fraud detection because it relies on biometric data that is unique to an individual.

Face-based biometrics offers the added benefit of requiring the user to capture a picture of themselves which has a chilling effect on fraudsters who generally prefer not to share their own likeness with the company they’re looking to defraud.

On top of that, biometric identification is usually easier for users: you carry yourself around everywhere. Putting a finger over a keypad or looking into an eye scanner isn’t tough to do.

Some systems, like face recognition, can even authenticate without the user consciously making a gesture. Simply enter an area or sit ahead of your computer and you’re authenticated via face recognition,

Disadvantages of Biometric Authentication

The main drawback of any biometric system is that it can never be 100 percent accurate.

To use a biometric system, it is first necessary for each user to enroll by providing one or more samples of the biometric which is used to make a “template” of that biometric.

When a user attempts to authenticate, the biometric they provide is then compared with their stored template. The system then assesses whether the sample is similar enough to the template to be judged to be a match.

Researchers have also demonstrated the ability to create fake fingerprints from high-quality prints left behind.

Others have found ways to use photos or 3D prints to trick iris scanners or facial recognition systems.

Sometimes the issue is that the system can be hacked as much as that it too often fails to recognize a valid user.

Why multi-modal Biometric authentication?

For a number of years now, the use of many Biometric authentications in combination, for example, the face and the iris or the iris and fingerprints, has made it possible to reduce error rates considerably.

But this reliability depends on the acquisition tools and algorithms used being of good quality. Though this solution may appear attractive in principle, identification requires the implementation of a centralized server, with a particularly secure architecture.

However, the traditional costs of Biometric authentication have made it an impossible option for many projects. New technologies are making biometric authentication more realistically feasible for a range of different implementations.

How reliable is biometric authentication?

Biometric authentication credentials like fingerprint scans or voice recordings can leak from devices, from company servers, or from the software wont to analyze them.

There’s also a high potential for false positives and false negatives. A face recognition system won’t recognize a user wearing makeup or glasses, or one who is sick or tired. Voices also vary.

People sound different once they first awaken, or once they attempt to use their phone during a crowded public setting, or when they’re angry or impatient.

Recognition systems are often fooled with masks, photos, and voice recordings, with copies of fingerprints, or tricked by trusted relations or housemates when the legitimate user is asleep.

Experts recommend that companies use multiple sorts of authentication simultaneously and escalate quickly if they see warning signs.

For instance, if the fingerprint may be a match but the face isn’t, or the account is being accessed from an unusual location at an unusual time, it’d be time to modify to a backup authentication method or a second channel. this is often particularly critical for financial transactions or password changes.

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