Biometric authentication methods vs passwords – stay up to date

We have already written and also made practical recommendations here on how to establish secure third-party software development. Today, we want to dwell on one rapidly developing aspect of security, and not only in software development but also in your business – this is biometric access to data, information, equipment, work-space. Companies are paying more and more attention to risk management, therefore, to ensure a higher level of security, in an increasing number of systems are used cost-effective biometric readers, crowding out access card readers and keyboards for entering passwords. This affected the willingness of hard and software manufacturers to develop the industry and technology. The use of biometric technologies is not just fast authentication, but also the main security tool.

For example, Microsoft employees authenticate using biometric data and at the same time, British banks use fingerprints to authorize purchases. Biometric identification is optimal not only as the choice of reliable protection for enterprises, employees and consumers but also reliably protects itself from failures and break-ins, always leaving the security of personal data in the first place.

Biometric access control and management systems allow people to be recognized by their physical individual characteristics. Thus, the quality of control and security of the system is significantly increased, the risk of unauthorized entry and fraud of the system is reduced.

Biometric Identification Methods

There are static, based on the identification of the physiological characteristics of a person being with him throughout his life:

  • by fingerprint or palm
  • facial features
  • by the eye retina 
  • according to the pattern of veins
  • by hand geometry
  • by DNA.

And there are dynamic methods take as a basis the identification of the behavioral characteristics of people, namely, subconscious movements in the process of repeating any everyday action:

  • by voice
  • by handwriting
  • by keyboard handwriting
  • by a walk.

For example, one of the priority types of behavioral biometrics used in safe development is the keyboard style of typing. When determining it, the printing speed, pressure on the keys, the duration of pressing the key, the time intervals between presses are fixed. A separate biometric factor is a manner in which the mouse is used. In addition, behavioral biometrics cover a large number of factors that are not related to the computer – for example gait, especially the way a person gets upstairs. There are also combined identification systems using several biometric characteristics that can satisfy the most stringent requirements for the reliability and security of access control systems.

What is the basis of biometric security?

Using biometrics for authentication will work when passwords will be excluded from the authentication process. This is the main step towards access control without a password. If the system still has a password in the background, then there remains the risk of data hacking.

The company will only be able to experience the benefits of passwordless authentication if biometrics are used for security and not for convenience. When an organization removes passwords from the authentication process, the task of creating a password, entering a combination, and resetting is eliminated. When recognizing a person without a password, the only authentication method is to use a combination of biometric data.

The main parameters for evaluating any biometric system are:

FAR (False Acceptance Rate) – false pass coefficient, i.e. the percentage of situations when the system allows access to a user who is not registered in the system.

FRR (False Rejection Rate) – false failure rate, i.e. denial of access to the real user of the system.

Both characteristics are obtained by calculation based on the methods of mathematical statistics. The lower these indicators, the more accurate the recognition of the object.

Why are passwords not strong?

As long as passwords exist, hackers will not stop developing new methods of personal data capturing. There are many ways to steal a password and break into the security system. With a biometric image, everything is different – it cannot be directly entered into the reader. To deceive technology based on an image or a fingerprint, an attacker must make a good cast, and not the fact that he will be able to deceive the technology.

It is worth mentioning that biometric authentication systems are additionally protected from fraud. For example, “liveness detection” technology recognizes an alive user, during identification, a person needs to blink or move his fingers. Thus, the person proves that authentication occurs in real time. The percentage of similarity with the biometric control template is determined. If the algorithm does not recognize the person, the so-called “anomaly module” is included in the work, which analyzes the causes of the non-compliance and sends a notification to the security service in the event of a fraud threat. This approach allows you to block fraudsters within a few seconds.

Biometry in terms of quarantine

A few months ago, special attention was paid to contactless authentication only at facilities with high sanitary and hygienic requirements (medicine, food industry, research institutes, and laboratories). In the context of quarantine, it became obvious that the share of contactless authentication will grow quite quickly. This method provides many advantages of using biometric methods in physical security systems. In addition, the ability to identify a remote object speeds up the verification process, which is important for high-flow systems. Particularly effective methods that capture the biometric characteristics of the object at a great distance and during movement. For example, the future is in contactless hoop prints. With the proliferation of megapixel surveillance cameras, the implementation of this principle of operation is becoming easier.

Biometric authentication benefits

High accuracy of identification of the person undergoing control.

The difficulty of falsifying biometric features.

A high degree of reliability, since the biometric identifier cannot be forgotten as a password, lost as a plastic card, or use someone else’s data or a pass.

Ample opportunities for automating processes, and, as a result, reducing costs, for example, for security, administration, maintaining file cabinets and databases, for issuing, replacing, “flashing” access cards, passes, forms, cards, etc.


Thus, the use of a biometric access control system allows you to not only manage and control access to the object and data, increase its safety and security, keep accurate records of working hours, but also automate many processes of the organization and optimize costs.