Biometrics – What is?

Biometric authentication is a type of system that is based on the unique biological characteristics of individuals to verify their identity and to give them secure access to electronic systems and facilities.

Biometric technologies involved in the authentication process are based on the ways in which people can be identified uniquely through one or more distinct biological features, such as fingerprints, hand geometry, geometry of the ear lobe, retina and iris patterns, voice waves, the dynamics of keystrokes, DNA and signatures.

This technology is used to ensure a wide range of electronic communications, including enterprise security, e-commerce and online banking – even to access a computer or a smartphone.

These systems compare the current biometric data capture with the true biometric data stored in a database. If both samples of biometrics tie, the authentication is confirmed and access is granted. The process is sometimes part of a system of multi-factor authentication; for example, a smartphone user can log in with his/her personal identification number (PIN) and then provide an iris scan to complete the authentication process.

The types of biometric authentication technologies available on the market are:

Retina Scan.
Iris recognition.
Fingerprint recognition.
Scanning of veins.
Face recognition
Voice recognition.

More info: Guide to biometrics.