A biometric device is a security identification and authentication device. Such devices use automated methods of verifying or recognising the identity of a living person based on a physiological or behavioral characteristic. These characteristics include fingerprints, facial images, iris and voice recognition.
FEATURES OF BIOMETRIC MACHINES
With the push to a digital world, more and more SMEs and start-ups are automating their routine day-to-day tasks. While most organisations today use a card reader and other digital devices, they still rely on manual time tracking and complex spreadsheets to monitor the time and attendance of employees.
Time-consuming and labour-intensive, manual time tracking is not only difficult but also curbs the future growth and expansion of your business. Your organisation can reach its full potential only when you create an efficient internal system that is scalable and effective.
Moving to a biometric attendance system is the first step in your journey to enhance the security of your organisation and increase the productivity of your employees. With plenty of biometric access control systems in the market, how do you select the correct one that is the best fit for your organisation?
Worry not! Check out these top 7 features to look for while evaluating Biometric attendance systems
1. Access Control
Apart from time-tracking system, biometric systems can also be used for security purposes like restricting non-authorised personnel into protected areas of the building. Look for devices that have integrated access control functionalities. Integrated systems lead to enhance the productivity as well as security of the organisation.
2. User Capacity
Look for a biometric attendance system that can store and verify a large number of templates (fingerprints, face, palm, etc), even if your organisation has just a few employees currently. This way, the device will be able to enrol new employees as your business grows over the years.
Internet connectivity is a required feature of the biometric machines. Readers transfer clock-in and clock-out time of the individual employees to the attendance and HR payroll system. When it comes to updating the system and keeping it working without bugs in the future also, internet connectivity is mandatory. As we are talking about connectivity, USB connectivity can be additional to have back up of the data quickly using an external device.
4. Identification Time
The success of a biometric attendance system depends on the time taken for the identification by the biometric machine. Look for devices that sense fingerprints quickly within a fraction of a second and auto push the data to the server for accurate time of the attendance. For example, Matrix COSEC Face Recognition takes <2 sec to identify an individual.
5. Durability and Ruggedness
Look for devices that are rugged, durable, and can work in extreme temperatures especially if your organisation attracts a lot of dirt and dust. Some fingerprint time-attendance systems like Matrix COSEC ARGO come with scratch-proof optical sensors and waterproof. This ensures that irrespective of environmental factors and handling, the time-attendance system always works perfectly. Further, you should also check for dust or water resistance in your solution.
6. Integration to Payroll Management Systems
The data from the system plays a vital role in improving the efficacy of HR payroll management systems. With precise attendance details of employees, it’s easier for the HR team to compute employee salaries quickly and perfectly. Go for systems that send data directly to the HR payroll software, thus, simplifying payroll computations.
While biometric attendance systems are easy-to-install and easy-to-use, there may be instances when you would face some issues and require expert assistance. Always purchase your device from reputed companies like Matrix, which offer you both online support and offline service support.
How does a biometric machine work?
How Biometric Systems Work. Biometric time and attendance systems use the fingerprints of employees to verify who is actually clocking in and clocking out of work each day. The system scans the finger of the employee, coordinates are determined and then the system maps the endpoints and intersections of the fingerprint .
Examples of Biometric Devices
So What Are Different Types of Biometrics Out There?
They are as follows:
1 – Fingerprint
Fingerprint recognition is widely considered to be one the oldest and most developed types of biometric recognition. Fingerprints are easy to capture, and can verified by comparing the unique loops, arches, and whorls in each pattern. After capturing the print, sophisticated algorithms use the image to produce a unique digital biometric template. The template is then compared to new or existing scans to either confirm or deny a match.
2 – Facial Recognition
Facial recognition software measures the geometry of the face, including the distance between the eyes, the distance from the chin to the forehead, and multiple other points on a person’s face. After collecting the data, an advanced algorithm transforms it into an encrypted facial signature.
3 – Voice Recognition
Physically speaking, the shape of a person’s vocal tract, including the nose, mouth, and larynx determines the sound produced. Behaviorally, the way a person says something – movement variations, tone, pace, accent, and so on – is also unique to each individual. The most important properties used for speech authentication are nasal tone, fundamental frequency, inflection, cadence. Combining data from both physical and behavioral biometrics creates a precise voiceprint.
4 – Iris Recognition
In the human eye, the iris is the colored portion in the shape of a ring. If you look closely, you will find it is made of many asymmetric thick thread-like structures. These thread-like structures are the muscles that help adjust shape of the pupil and only allow appropriate amount of light in the eye. By measuring the unique folds of these muscles, biometric authentication tools can confirm identity with incredible accuracy. Liveness detection – like requiring a user to blink for the scan – adds an additional layer of accuracy and security.
5 – Retina Scan
Retinal scans capture capillaries deep within the eye by using unique near-infrared cameras. The raw image is first preprocessed to enhance the image then processed again as a biometric template to use during both enrollment and verification.
6 – Keystroke Dynamics
Keystroke dynamics leverage the fact that people follow a definite pattern while typing on a keyboard or keypad. Their keystroke rhythm can be used to establish a biometric profile, which can be used to identify or authenticate him/her. Time taken to press each key, pause between key presses, letters typed per second/minute, and several other measures are taken to generate a keystroke profile of a user. When added with keystroke dynamics, password-based security can improve multifold without introducing any more complexity.
7 – Signature Recognition
Signature recognition is one type of biometric method used to analyze the physical activity of signing by measuring special coordinates such as pen pressure, stroke order, inclination, and speed. A measurements are digitally recorded, then that information is used to automatically create a biometric profile for future authentication.
How RTA is Used In Biometrics for Seamless Authentication
Real Time authentication (RTA) provides end-to-end authentication and fraud prevention for contact centers. Based on voice biometrics, it automatically verifies the caller’s claimed identity within the first few seconds of a call through natural conversation with an agent.
Leveraging its unique Single Voiceprint capability, RTA uses the same voiceprint across channels, allowing effortless authentication in the Interactive Voice Response (IVR) or mobile application as well. Combining voice biometrics with additional authentication factors, RTA offers risk-based authentication across multiple channels. It improves the level of security, reduces operational costs, and the best thing is consumers don’t even notice it!
Whether a consumer calls the IVR, completes an action using a mobile app, or speaks to an agent, RTA verifies their voice, phone number, and device in the background, without interrupting the interaction.
Focused on contact center call flows, it supports complex call scenarios such as “on behalf calls”, multiple beneficiaries, and others. Organizations using RTA don’t need to worry about selecting the right authentication factor – they get all of them in one solution which automatically applies the right factor(s) at the right time.
Advantages and disadvantages of biometrics
April 6, 2020
What are the pros and cons of biometrics in today’s digital age?
In 2020, biometric authentication and verification is integral to the modern technology landscape and is widespread in more ways than modern users of it fully understand. Most people use biometric verification in their everyday lives in some capacity: at the airport to get whisked through long security lines, at their doctor’s office to ensure confidentiality of medical records, or simply unlocking their phones to respond to a notification.
Most common biometric devices and their verification applications today require physiological biometrics, like face recognition and thumbprints to unlock their services… but they’re not the only key. There’s a wide range of other biometric uses that are ‘physical’ (like iris or palm shape) as well as a growing acceptance of behavioral biometrics. For example, the way that you navigated to this page on the internet, how you click on it, whether it’s on a smart phone or laptop, to even the web browser you use are increasingly being used by businesses and governments alike to create a biometric profile of users to be used for identification and tracking purposes.
While biometric data and authentication are being ramped up and adopted across all aspects of modern life, questions arise on the safety and privacy from the users/consumers who are supplying biometric inputs to businesses and governments, and the purposes for utilization. Why does a business need to know what browser I use? What happens if my biometric data is compromised? I can always change a password, but can I change my fingerprint?
Biometric authentication refresher
Biometrics are the measurement and analysis of an individual’s physiological or behavioral traits (Biology + Metrics = Biometrics).
Experts break down multi-factor authentication of a person’s identity by technology into three parts: knowledge (something the user and only the user knows), possession (something the user and only the user has), and inherence (something the user and only the user is). Biometrics falls into the possession and inherence parameters – when a device or service uses biometrics for identity verification, the purpose is to verify that a user is who they say they are by comparing their biometric input with the biometric data that’s been previously stored – something a user is and has.
There are two main categories of inputs for biometrics: physiological and behavioral. Main physiological biometrics utilized in today’s tech include a person’s fingerprints, hand geometry, face shape, or eye pattern. Main behavioral biometrics include a person’s web behavior and internet cookies, IP addresses, voice recognition, or how someone is likely to act – both online or in the real-world. Physiological and behavioral traits can be stored as inputs that are converted into data and stored to unlock in future uses as well as create unique user profiles.
Biometric data is stored and processed with database servers, encrypted tokens, or physical tokens. More secure devices will use on-device (or on-premises) storage of biometric templates, which ensures identity authentication occurs without any sensitive biometric information being sent over the internet to a different server or location.
Advantages of biometric authentication
Biometric authentication and its uses in modern-day tech and digital applications has a number of advantages:
- High security and assurance – Biometric identification provides the answers to “something a person has and is” and helps verify identity
- User Experience – Convenient and fast
- Non-transferrable – Everyone has access to a unique set of biometrics
- Spoof-proof – Biometrics are hard to fake or steal
High security and assurance
Biometrics provide increased levels of assurance to providers that a person is real by verifying a tangible, real-world trait as both something the user has and something the user is. Most user’s passwords and PINs and personal identifying information have likely been compromised with a data breach, meaning, billions of accounts can be accessed by fraudsters who retain the answers to traditional authentication methods. Introducing biometric authentication into the process adds in a road-block for fraudsters that only a real, authorized user can circumnavigate – though a fraudster may know a person uses their dog’s name and some lucky numbers for most of their online accounts, they can’t use their fingerprint to unlock an account if they can’t provide it on the spot. Additionally, biometrics can only be provided by living, breathing people – at this point in time, a robot would have a hard-time passing an iris scan.
User experience is convenient and fast
While the internal processes for biometric authentication is technical, from a user’s point of view it’s incredibly easy and quick. Placing a finger on a scanner and unlocking an account in seconds is faster than typing out a long password that has multiple special characters. In addition, forgetting a password is a common mistake of most users. The chances of you forgetting your own biometrics? Never!
Biometric authentication requires its input is present upon authorization. You can’t transfer or share a physical biometric digitally – the only way to utilize most biometric authentication systems is with a physical application.
Biometrics like face patterns, fingerprints, iris scanning, and others are near-impossible to replicate with current technology. There’s a one in 64 billion chance that your fingerprint will match up exactly with someone else’s. Said a different way, you have a better chance winning the lottery than having the same fingerprint as a hacker trying to get into your account that’s secured by biometrics.
Disadvantages of biometric authentication
Despite increased security, efficiency, and convenience, biometric authentication and its uses in modern-day tech and digital applications also has disadvantages:
- Costs – Significant investment needed in biometrics for security
- Data breaches – Biometric databases can still be hacked
- Tracking and data – Biometric devices like facial recognition systems can limit privacy for users
- False positives, bias and inaccuracy – False rejects and false accepts can still occur preventing select users from accessing systems
It’s no surprise that a more advanced security system would require significant investments and costs to implement. In a 2018 survey by Spiceworks, 67 percent of IT professionals cite cost as” the biggest reason for not adopting biometric authentication.” Transitioning to a biometrics authentication wouldn’t be the only thing a company would have to pay for, with 47% of the surveyed stating a need to upgrade current systems in order to support a shift to biometric authentication on their devices.
Businesses and governments that collect and store users’ personal data are under constant threat from hackers. Because biometric data is irreplaceable, organizations need to treat sensitive biometric data with increased security and caution – something that’s expensive and technically difficult in order to stay ahead of fraud advancements. If a password or pin is compromised, there’s always the possibility of changing it. The same can’t be said for a person’s physiological or behavioral biometrics.
Tracking and data
As the world increases its use of biometric authentication systems like facial recognition technology and other biometric security measures, privacy of users needs to be taken into consideration. When biometrics are converted into data and stored, particularly in places or countries that have large surveillance measures, a user runs the risk of leaving a permanent digital record that can be potentially tracked by nefarious actors. In many instances, organizations and governments have used facial recognition software to track and identify people with scary accuracy that significantly inhibits privacy. As surveillance increases, biometric data can become a permanent digital tag that can be used to track someone, both with and without their knowledge.
False positives, bias and inaccuracy
Most common biometric authentication methods rely on partial information to authenticate a user’s identity. For example, a mobile biometric device will scan an entire fingerprint during the enrollment phase, and convert it into data. However, future biometric authentication of the fingerprint will only use parts of the prints to verify identity so it’s faster and quicker. In 2018, a research team from New York University created an Artificial Intelligence platform that was able to fraudulently crack fingerprint authentication at a success rate of 20% by matching similarities of partial prints to the full biometric data. Biometric authentication can also be biased to users who cannot provide the physical input it requires (i.e. handicapped individuals), as well as changes to existing users. If a person injured their finger they use for biometric authentication, the print might not match the data and they’d be barred from access.
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