BIOMETRICS: HOW DOES THIS THING EVEN WORK?

Security is Vital

You take basic security precautions every day — you use a key to get into your house and log on to your computer with a username and password. You’ve probably also experienced the panic that comes with misplaced keys and forgotten passwords. It isn’t just that you can’t get what you need — if you lose your keys or jot your password on a piece of paper, someone else can find them and use them as though they were you.

What is biometrics??

Instead of using something you have (like a key) or something you know (like a password), biometrics uses who you are to identify you. Biometrics can use physical characteristics, like your face, fingerprints, irises or veins, or behavioral characteristics like your voice, handwriting or typing rhythm. Unlike keys and passwords, your personal traits are extremely difficult to lose or forget. They can also be very difficult to copy. For this reason, many people consider them to be safer and more secure than keys or passwords.

Biometric authentication is simply the process of verifying your identity using your measurements or other unique characteristics of your body, then logging you in a service, an app, a device and so on..

Authentication of fingerprints

How Does it Work?

Biometric systems can seem complicated, but they aren’t. What is complicated is the technology behind it.  All biometric systems use the same three steps:

Enrollment: The first time you use a biometric system, it records basic information about you, like your name or an identification number. It then captures an image or recording of your specific trait.

Storage: Contrary to what you may see in movies, most systems don’t store the complete image or recording. They instead analyze your trait and translate it into a code or graph. Some systems also record this data onto a smart card that you carry with you.

Comparison: The next time you use the system, it compares the trait you present to the information on file. Then, it either accepts or rejects that you are who you claim to be. This is also called verification.

Biometric authentication works by comparing two sets of data: the first one is preset by the owner of the device, while the second one belongs to a device visitor. If the two data are nearly identical, the device knows that “visitor” and “owner” are one and the same and gives access to the person.

The important thing to note is that the match between the two data sets must be nearly identical but not exactly identical. This is because it’s close to impossible for 2 biometric data to match 100%. For instance, you might have a slightly sweaty finger or a tiny, tiny scar that changes the print pattern.

Caveat

Designing the process so that it doesn’t require an exact match greatly diminishes the chance of a false negative (the device doesn’t recognize your fingerprint) but also increases the odds that a fake fingerprint might be considered genuine.

Note: Our 4-4-2 fingerprint enrollment scanner and live fingerprint verification scanners are the best combination for your biometric authentication needs. You can check them out and see for yourself:    https://www.chamsaccess.com/products/

Dermalog LF10 enrolment device

                                                                                          Dermalog fp scanner (ZF1)

 

Wrapping this up, biometric authentication has expanded in the last few years, with more consumers relying on it. Now that you know how it works, I’m sure you will pass this on to the next person.