Biometrics: Biometrics and Fingerprint Software Quality Essay

Submitted By mushele
Words: 878
Pages: 4

“Biometrics is the measurement and analysis of unique physical or behavioral characteristics (such as fingerprint or voice patterns), especially as a means of verifying personal identity”. (Merriam-Webster Encyclopedia, 2013) Other characteristics include face, hand geometry, vein, and iris recognition. The trait needs to be something that doesn’t change a lot over time. Other methods of authentication still in use is what the user knows, such as a password, or answers to secret questions personalized to that user, or what the person has, such as a key, pin number, or a keycard.
Since the beginning of civilization, there have been thieves. As the World Wide Web has grown to store so much personal information, security has been an issue for users and website developers who need to protect sensitive information from hackers. These criminals use this information to steal names addresses, dates of birth, social security numbers and credit card numbers for use in illegal purchases and identity theft.
Controlling access to databases and user accounts requires protection of aspects such as identification, authentication and authorization. This protection is performed through the use of programming languages that encrypt unique user IDs and secret passwords that ideally include numbers, capital letters, and symbols to be considered ‘strong’. (Baldwin, 2012, p. 28)
Database intrusion using PHP or MySQL databases can provide hackers with these passwords, even though they are encrypted.
Biometrics can simplify this process, eliminating the need to store passwords in the browser, or memorization of them for each account you access. Once this information is accessed, criminals can create bogus identities, creating billions of dollars in fraudulent debt. “Identity theft cost Americans $1.52 billion in 2011, FTC says“(Simpson, 2012).
Biometrics can secure entire hard drives and replace passwords with fingerprints, voice commands, or iris and face recognition. The technology lets users connect to their laptops, enter buildings, or log into accounts seamlessly with the swipe of a finger, voicing a statement, or looking at a camera. The camera can scan the iris or the face and recognize the user, authenticate them and grant access. Face and iris recognition methods are the most expensive available today, and are used for access to top secret buildings like you see in the movies. Fingerprint scanning and voice recognition are the most commonly used physical attributes for the PC and smartphones used today. “Over the past decade there has been a huge increase in fingerprint authentication as the quality of scanning hardware has improved, the price has decreased. This decrease in price has now allowed the technology to be used on personal computers.” (Jackson, 2012)
There are two separate parts needed to use fingerprint software: Scanning hardware, and fingerprint matching and storage software. There are four main features in al finger print software programs: Image storage, relational databases, image compression logic, and access logs. The difference between fingerprint software quality is in its image quality and the ability to store significant header data that can be quickly accessed by the program. The more details stored in each fingerprint, the larger the file-size, which increases the need for storage capacity. Each dataset holds the fingerprint image and security profile. A key is then linked to the image data, allowing connections to be made in the database. (Jackson, 2012, p. 36)
Finally, for computers within a large network with