- Biometric authentication is the one which consist of physiological or behavioural characteristics of a human being that ca be used for identification or verification of identity.
- In short biometrics is a biological authenticator.
- Physiological characteristics (static biometrics) are related to shape of the body, fingerprint, retina scan, DNA, palm print, hand geometry and iris recognition.
- Behavioural characteristics (dynamic biometrics) are related to behavior of a person which includes voice recognition, signature and typing pattern (keystroke).
- Biometric system with knowledge factor (i.e fingerprint + password) is considered as a strong authentication mechanism.
- Figure below shows the block diagram of biometric authentication system:
A biometric system operates in two modes:
i. Verification mode.
ii. Identification mode.
In verification mode, one-to-one comparison of a captured biometric with a specific template stored in biometric database is performed to authenticate the person.
- In identification mode, one-to-many comparisons against a biometric database is performed to authenticate the person.
- In the figure, sensor is the interface between real world and system which acquires necessary data.
- Pre-processing performs normalization of the data.
- It removes noise from the acquired data.
- Feature extraction extracts the necessary features.
- After that a template is created which is a synthesis of characteristics extracted from source.
- At this stage, if enrollment is performed the template is stored in database. If matching is performed, the obtained template is compared with stored template.
If match found, the user is authenticated and gets access to the system.
Advantages of Biometric System:
i. No more forgotten or stolen passwords.
ii. Positive and accurate identification
iii. Highest level of security
iv. Offers mobility
v. Hard or not possible to forge
vi. The characteristics cannot be transferred
vii. Safe and user friendly.
Disadvantages of Biometric System:
i. Time consuming.
ii. False reading.
iii. Expensive technology.