Biometric Systems


Biometric Systems Essay, Research Paper

Biometric Systems

As defined in Computer Security Basics by O’Reilly & Associates, Inc.

Biometrics is the use of a persons unique physiological, behavioral, and

morphological characteristics to provide positive personal identification.

Biometric systems that are currently avaiable today examine fingerprints,

handprints, and retina patterns. Systems that are close to biometrics but are

not classified as such are behavioral systems such as voice, signature and

keystroke systems. They test patterns of behavior not parts of the body.

It seems that in the world of biometrics that the more effective the

device, the less willing people will be to accept it. Retina pattern devices

are the most reliable but most people hate the idea of a laser shooting into

their eye. Yet something such as monitoring keystroke patters people don’t mind,

but it’s not nearly as effective.

Biometric verification is forecast to be a multibillion dollar market in

this decade. There is no doubt that financial credit and debit cards are going

to be the biggest part of the biometric market. There are also many

significant niche markets which are growing rapidly. For example, biometric

identification cards are being used at a university in Georgia to allow students

to get their meals, and in a Maryland day care center to ensure that the right

person picks up the right child. In Los Angeles, they are using fingerprints to

stop welfare fraud. And they’re also being used by frequent business travellers

for rapid transit through immigration and customs in Holland, and now at JFK and

Newark airports in the United States. It could also be used to simply prevent

one employee from “punching in” for some one else, or to prevent someone from

opening up an account at a bank using a false name. Then there is also the

security access market, access to computer databases, to premises and a variety

of other areas.

The Sentry program made by Fingerprint Technologies uses several devices

at once. The system first prompts for a user name and password. Then they must

have their fingerprint scan match what is on record. They can also use a video

camera for real time video to capture photographs which can be incorporated into

the data base. The time to scan and gain entrance to the building take from 6

to 10 seconds depending on what other information the operator wishes the user

to enter. The system also keeps on record three of the individuals finger

patterns incase one of the others is injured.

Biometrics is still relatively new to most people and will remain

expensive to purchase good equipment until it becomes more popular and the

technology gets better. And as people become more aware of how the systems work

they will become more accepting of the more secure systems and not shy away from

them as much. The future of access control security is literally in the hands,

eyes, voice, keystroke, and signature of everyone.

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