Biometrics, or biometric authentication, uses a person’s unique physical and behavioral characteristics to verify their identity.
Common biometric authentication methods include fingerprint scanning, and voice and facial recognition, all used by businesses to improve security, and provide customers with convenient, unlosable alternatives to passwords and keys.
Biometric authentication analyzes a person’s unique physical characteristics to verify their identity.
Biometrics can help enhance cybersecurity, reduce manual security costs, and improve audit trails.
Unlike traditional verification methods like PINs and passwords, biometrics data cannot be reset, and biometric data is a valuable target for hackers.
The most common biometrics use case today is in consumer smartphones, as a user access authentication tool.
What is it?
Biometrics are physical and behavioral metrics related to human characteristics. Digital biometric authentication captures these measurements and cross references them with historical data to verify an individual’s identity.
Physiological measurements are related to the shape of an individual’s body. Common physical traits used in biometry include fingerprints, palm prints, retinal patterns, and vein structure. Behavioral measurements can include voice patterns, the way people walk, and even how they type and write.
What’s in for you?
Biometrics offer a convenient way for employees to gain access to systems or physical locations, without having to remember a password or passkey. This can represent a significant saving for your IT department, as password resets account for a significant proportion of calls to helpdesks.
Having biometric capabilities built into our smartphones has also made biometric authentication a realistic security option for those building mobile apps, delivering enhanced security for things like mobile banking.
Biometric shift clocks are also rising in popularity, providing a clock-in/clock-out solution that can’t be tampered with or used fraudulently.
What are the trade offs?
Biometrics data is irreplaceable and cannot be reset. Plus, it’s also a highly valuable target for hackers, making many businesses hesitant to capture and store it themselves.
A biometric data loss can cause significant reputation and brand damage for a business, decreasing the chances that customers trust it in the future, and leading to a significant loss of repeat custom and loyalty.
How is it being used?
Since the introduction of Apple’s Touch ID in 2013, biometric authentication has become an everyday tool that millions of users worldwide are comfortable with. For businesses, that’s a green light to apply and utilize it across a wide range of use cases.
Today, biometrics are used in offices, schools, airports, and government buildings to track visitors and verify their identities as a security measure. Some government organizations even rely on biometrics to track and ensure timely staff attendance and accurate payroll calculations.
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