Introduction to Biometrics
Biometrics is an automated method of recognizing a person based on a physiological or behavioral characteristic. Among the features measured are face, fingerprints, hand geometry, handwriting, iris, retinal, vein, and voice. Biometric technologies are becoming the foundation of an extensive array of highly secure identification and personal verification solutions. As the level of security breaches and transaction fraud increases, the need for highly secure identification and personal verification technologies is becoming apparent.
Biometric-based solutions are able to provide for confidential financial transactions and personal data privacy. The need for biometrics can be found in central and local governments, in the military, and in commercial applications. Enterprise-wide network security infrastructures, government IDs, secure electronic banking, secure investing and other financial transactions, retail sales, law enforcement, and health and social services are already benefiting from these biometric technologies.
Biometric-based authentication applications include PC logon, workstation access control, network security, and domain access, single sign-on, secure application logon, data protection, remote access to resources, transaction security and Internet security. Trust in these electronic transactions is essential to the healthy growth of the global economy. Utilized alone, or integrated with other technologies such as smart cards, encryption keys and digital signatures; biometrics is set to pervade nearly all aspects of the economy and our daily lives.
Utilizing biometrics for personal authentication is becoming convenient and considerably more accurate than current methods (such as the utilization of passwords). This is because biometrics links the event to a particular individual (a password or token may be used by someone other than the authorized user), is convenient (nothing to carry or remember), accurate (it provides for positive authentication), can provide an audit trail and is becoming socially acceptable and cost effective.