Biometrics comprises methods for uniquely recognizing humans based upon one or more intrinsic physical or behavioral traits. In computer science, in particular, biometrics is used as a form of identity access management and access control. It is also used to identify individuals in groups that are under surveillance. Biometric characteristics can be divided in two main classes:
Physiological are related to the shape of the body. Examples include, but are not limited to fingerprint, face recognition, DNA, palm print, hand geometry, iris recognition, which has largely replaced retina, and odor/scent.
Behavioral are related to the behavior of a person. Examples include, but are not limited to typing rhythm, gait, and voice. Some researchers have coined the term behaviometrics for this class of biometrics. Iris recognition is a method of biometric authentication that uses pattern-recognition techniques based on high-resolution images of the irides of an individual’s eyes.
Not to be confused with another, less prevalent, ocular-based technology, retina scanning, iris recognition uses camera technology, with subtle infrared illumination reducing specular reflection from the convex cornea, to create images of the detail-rich, intricate structures of the iris. Converted into digital templates, these images provide mathematical representations of the iris that yield unambiguous positive identification of an individual. Iris recognition efficacy is rarely impeded by glasses or contact lenses. Iris technology has the smallest outlier group of all biometric technologies. Because of its speed of comparison, iris recognition is the only biometric technology well-suited for one-to-many identification. A key advantage of iris recognition is its stability, or template longevity, as, barring trauma, a single enrollment can last a lifetime.
In the world of Access Control, people are getting more and more familiar with the technology used. Proximity, Laser, RFID technologies can easily be breached because the cards, barcode decals and RFID tags can easily be shared, lost and stolen. Therefore there is a requirement of reader technology that can offer a highest level of security and Biometrics is a solution for that. In Biometrics the image of physical characteristics like fingers, hands, eyes etc. is stored as identification and each time a person requires an access, depending upon the type of Biometric reader he has to compare his current image with the stored image. This has a major advantage because this identification cannot be duplicated, lost or stolen. Another advantage is that the person does not have to carry any card, barcode decal or RFID tag. This powerful tool developed for biometric identification, and it could well be. Identity Solutions’ IIDE is a rugged, portable device that can establish and then verify peoples’ identities using three separate biometrics – iris, fingerprint and facial recognition. IIDE is an acronym for Interagency Identity Detection Equipment. The device is embedded with Microsoft XP and can operate either in the field or hooked up to a PC. You can also customize it by adding peripherals such as a passport reader, a keyboard or a mouse. Once up and running, it can store up to 28,000 full biometric profiles, each one including two iris templates, ten fingerprints, a facial image and biographical data. The device is simple to use, the device simply takes a photo of the subject’s iris with the 640 X 480 camera, get their fingerprints with the built-in 500dpi sensor, then snap a picture of their face. If you’re using it for verification, the IIDE will next check through its 512 MB onboard database, or it can wirelessly search through a number of worldwide databases. It will let you know when a match is found, or if one isn’t. Biometrics adds another dimension to the logon/authentication process. Biometrics identifies some physical trait of the user logging on and uses that information, along with a username and password in most cases, to authenticate the user. Physical traits include fingerprints, voice, and facial and iris/retina features. Biometrics identifies the actual person who has authorized access by his or her physical traits. In contrast, token-based systems are based on an external physical device that is carried by the person. Technically, both systems can be compromised with brute force-literally. For example, an attacker could force an authorized user to reveal his or her secret password, steal the token device, and then attempt to logon from any remote system that accepts the password and token code. In contrast, biometric logon usually only takes in specific locations in which the biometric devices are located. An attacker would need to force the authorized user to scan his or her fingers, eyes, face, and so on, at that location. If guards are posted or other people are around, this could be a little difficult.
A camera is used to capture a user’s face and match facial features with a database of known users
A light scanner is used to read the unique whorls on fingertips
This type of scanner scans an entire hand or the palm of a hand, which provides unique identification information without the higher resolutions required in finger scanners
Eye scanners may provide the most accurate identification, but users may be apprehensive about using them.