The term biometrics refers to an automated system that can identify an individual by measuring their physical uniqueness and comparing it to those on record. For easy convenience of the user we use various authentication technologies such as personal identification cards, magnetic cards, keys, passwords. But the biometrics make more easy identification technologies such as fingerprint identification, iris recognition, palm prints, DNA, signature recognition, and so on.
With the development in the Internet based business and also on the increased need for accurate verification while accessing accounts, then the technique of biometrics is convenient and easy to use. It is unique, permanent and measurable features ensure security in E-commerce. Biometrics can even provide the user with convenience and security by enabling a machine to verify the individual by itself and to respond to individual's requests. Biometrics also provides you with security and convenience and enables a machine to verify and respond to individuals requests. Some of the main advantages of biometrics includes (a) there will be no more forgotten or stolen passwords (b) there will be a positive and accurate identification of your biometrics technology. (c) the security offered will be so high. (d) it also offers a good mobile features. (e) it is impossible to forge and serves as a key in which that cannot be transferred. (f) the most important is that it is safe and user friendly.
WHAT IS BIOMETRICS?
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In simple terms biometrics is an authentication technology of identifying a person based on his/her physiological or behavioral characteristics. For physiological characteristics we have different types of biometric system such as hand or finger images, facial characteristics, iris recognition etc. and behavioral characteristics may include signature of the person, voice recognition, keystroke dynamics etc. For each of the biometric authentication technology, it requires an enrolled sample against a newly captured biometric sample. During the process of enrollment, a sample biometric trait is captured and is processed by a computer for later reference. The technique of biometric authentication can also be used in identification mode in which the whole biometric system will use the database for searching the enrolled persons. Some of the uses of biometrics include network access and workstation, data protection, transaction security and web security. The promises given to us through e-commerce and e-government can be achieved through high personal authentication procedures. Some of those technologies may include secure electronic banking, investing, retail sales etc. The biometric technologies are expected to play some key roles in self authentication of large scale enterprises authentication environments. Now a days most of the economy mainly relies on biometrics for safer authentication and other technologies such as smart cards, encryption keys and digital signatures.
Since biometric authentication technologies provide high security and convenience it is now increasing in popularity. Our normal passwords can be broken easily but information such as fingerprint or finger vein pattern cannot be changed easily. So as to protect this information the authentication technology protects the biometric data using encryption and verifies without decryption, is being developed. With the help of this technology, the data obtained using biometrics is being kept as a secret throughout the authentication process, in which it reduces the risk of data leakage and achieving more and more biometric authentication system.
BIOMETRIC AUTHENTICATION TECHNOLOGY
Authentication simply means verifying the user. That itself means identifying the correct person. When a person comes to you and introduces him/her as someone, you can use the biometric technique to identify whether the person is fake or not. If a match is found, then that means the person is verified or else he is not. This is what happens in biometric verification system as well. The verification is not simply based on only photo ID's. you can use pass code, userid-password, or any of the information that only the user and the identifier will know.
BIOMETRIC AUTHORIZATION TECHNOLOGY
Authorization means checking whether the user has an authority or permission to access something such as computer, secured location etc. Authorization can be better explained with an example. The example could be going to a movie theater to watch a film. Before entering into the hall, you are requested to show the movie ticket. If you have the ticket, then you are allowed to enter into the hall, or else you will be denied. But the person who is checking your ticket wont be knowing you, but will allow you only if you have a valid ticket. Here the concept is not identification or verification but whoever has the ticket is the authorized person. Consider the example for fingerprint based login system. The one who needs to access the computer system should place the finger on the scanner. This biometric system will capture the fingerprint and will compare it with the fingerprint of the people who have the authorized access to the system. If a perfect match is found then, the person is given correct access to the computer system or else the access is denied. The authorization happens when the corresponding computer returns yes or no response to the user.
SOME OF THE BIOMETRIC AUTHENTICATION TECHNOLOGIES
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Fingerprints: it is the patterns of friction ridges and valleys on ones fingertips that are unique to individuals.
Face recognition: it is the identification of ones facial image.
Speaker recognition: this uses the acoustic features of speech which is unique in every individual.
Iris recognition: it uses the iris of the eye i.e. the area that surrounds the pupil.
Hand and finger geometry: this measures the physical characteristics of finger or hand.
Signature verification: it uses the dynamic analysis of a signature to authenticate a person.
FINGERPRINT IDENTIFICATION TECHNOLOGY IN DETAIL
Each fingerprint is uniquely made of ridges and valleys on the finger surface. The upper skin layer segments of the finger are called ridges and the lower segment is the valley. The ridges form minutia point i.e. the ridge ending and the ridge bifurcation. The uniqueness of fingerprints can be determined using the various ridge patterns and furrows. The basic fingerprint patterns include arch, tented arch, left loop, right loop and whorl. The loops are made up of 60% of all fingerprints, 30% of whorls, 10% of arches. For many decades law enforcement has been classifying and determining identity by matching the ridge ending and bifurcation. Even for identical twins their fingerprints will differ. Now laptops and palmtops are also available in which fingerprints are used as the identification technology. And with these devices there is no longer a need to type our passwords and username, only the fingerprints are enough that means a simple touch provides the authorization.
Biometrics is now becoming a very good authentication technology because of its recent advances. The biometric authentication now provide a means to achieve fast and user friendly authentication with a high level of accuracy and also cost saving. Many broad areas will get benefitted from these biometric technologies. The proof of growing acceptance of biometrics is the availability in market place that are becoming more accurate, less expensive, faster and easy to use.