Did you know biometric authentication started back in second-century China with Empress Tu using fingerprints to seal documents? The modern biometric identity verification system was designed in 1858 by Sir William James Herschel, a British Administrator who was seeking a proper way to identify subcontractors. This design formed the basis of modern fingerprinting techniques used by police forces around the world today.
Since the 1900s, a lot of research hours, brainpower, and investment have gone into perfecting the biometric verification system and discovering new ways to use it in the fight against fraud, and identity theft and to simplify everyday processes. Though there are some misconceptions about the use of biometrics, every year brings new advancements and stronger biometric identity verification systems. Installing a biometric identity verification system isn’t as complicated, costly, or intrusive as you may think, but can it be your business’s last line of defense against fraudsters.
What is a Biometric Identity Verification System?
Biometrics is the science of measuring the human body as it relates to unique human characteristics. A biometric identity verification system verifies the identity of individuals by using their biometric characteristics. Biometrics authentication currently uses DNA, ear shape, eyes, fingers, gait, keystrokes, heartbeat, odor, signature, veins, and voice to verify identity.
Biometrics is used in a variety of applications, such as security, medical diagnosis, and human resources. However, biometrics has long been the subject of controversy. Some argue that the use of a biometric identity verification system violates individual privacy due to mass surveillance. This is to be expected, as there are some downsides to biometric authentication.
As with any new technology, there will be some growing pains. It took centuries for biometric identity verification to be where it is now. And in the last decade, developers have made huge leaps in progress with their biometric identity verification systems. For now, there are still rare instances of false matches, misuse, and implementation woes, but the use of biometrics is still a safer option when it comes to creating the ultimate identity verification solution.
Biometric identity verification systems are different from traditional identity verification systems, such as passwords and knowledge-based systems, in that they use the unique biological characteristics of an individual to verify their identity. Unlike traditional identity verification systems, which can often be fooled by fraudsters, biometric verification is singular to an individual and are therefore far more effective at confirming their identity. Today, most biometric identity verification systems use fingerprint, facial, and palm print biometrics.
How Do We Use Biometric Identity Verification Systems?
In the past, fingerprints were the most commonly used biometric authentication method. However, in the past few years, biometrics verification methods have become more advanced and safer. Biometric identity verification systems are becoming increasingly common as businesses and government agencies realize the many benefits of using a biometric verification system.
There are two types of biological identifiers: morphological and biological. For biometric identity verification, we mainly use morphological identifiers which consist of fingerprints, hand shape, finger, vein pattern, the eye (iris and retina), and the face’s shape. Medical and police forensics use more biological identifiers like DNA, blood type, saliva, and urine.
Biometric identity verification systems are now used almost everywhere: –
- Security sign-ins
- Commercial use (user and customer onboarding)
- E-Learning platforms
- Online security
- Travel security and border control
- Voter identification
- Physical access (home, office, smart devices, etc.)
Biometric identity verification systems are fast, easy to use, and accurate, making them a great method for verifying the identity of individuals. Biometric authentication can also be used to verify the identity of individuals when traditional identity verification methods, such as physical tokens and handwriting, are not reliable or acceptable. Biometric identity verification systems are also an excellent way for businesses to increase the security of their operations.
Traditional Identity Verification Solutions
Biometric identity verification is different from traditional identity verification solutions, as it uses what is intrinsically you to verify identity. Traditional identity verification solutions are based on what you have, know, or the existing data. Here are a few common traditional verification methods: –
Knowledge-Based Authentication (KBA):
Ever been asked, “What’s your mother’s maiden name?” That’s how KBA works. It’s based on the premise that only you will know the answer.
That driver’s license, ID card, voter registration card you carry around, or birth certificate in the drawer is the standard way to verify identity.
Your Personal Identification Number (PIN) should be your most guarded secret according to bank officials who have access to your account regardless. And how many of us rely on password managers to save us?
Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)
Uses a combination of 2 types of identity verification.
Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)
Uses multiple identity verification methods to verify identity.
Short Message ide (SMS)
Typically, SMS verification is used as part of 2FA or MFA as a backup protocol to verify identity.
Credit Bureau Based Authentication
Similar to database authentication where customer identity is verified by being matched to their credit score or other Personally Identifiable Information (PII).
Traditional identity verification solutions have been used by governments and businesses to verify identity for decades. However, these have been proven to be not 100% effective for identity verification. In the past, these methods were somewhat reliable but were still subject to human error and fraud.
Over the past few decades, new updates and advancements in these traditional identity verification solutions, such as the inclusion of barcodes and biometric features, have increased their reliability. Still, they are subject to fraud and misuse due to human error and unprotected databases. Now, most businesses incorporate some form of traditional identity verification with a biometric verification system, such as fingerprinting, to better improve digital identity management.
Types of Biometric Verification
Biometrics has come a long way in the past few years. Today, various types of biometrics are used in a wide variety of different applications. Biometric identity verification is only one such application that gives us a wide range of uses. According to the Biometrics Institute, there are 16 types of biometrics in use today.
Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) is present in all human cellular material e.g. hair, blood, skin, etc. Biometric DNA sampling requires contact with the subject. However, in forensic use DNA may become contaminated with other substances.
The unique shape of the outer ear has become a proven method of biometric identification outside of law enforcement with the advent of advanced computing algorithms such as convolutional neural networks during the last decade.
Biometric identification of the eye involves the use of the iris, retina, and sclera vein which are the veins in the white part of the eye. The sclera vein and retina are often used to unlock smartphones as part of a multimodal biometric identity verification system.
The human face has 80 nodal points which can be used to verify identity. Some include the shape of your cheekbones, jawline, the distance between the eyes, and the width of your nose.
We all know about fingerprinting and palm prints, but what about finger geometry? Finger geometry measures the width between your fingers, the thickness, and the length.
That sexy statement walk you have is unique to you and it is often how people are recognized even when disguised. So as Shakira says, the hips don’t lie.
Aside from your palm print, your hand can be measured using other unique features such as width, side profile, and thickness.
Apparently, your heart can beat special for someone. However, not as special as you think. Your heartbeat’s electrical signature that is unique to you is what makes it special.
This may give you some doubts about the validity of biometrics. The use of keystrokes to identify someone requires a previously recorded session to match their keystrokes.
Now all those werewolf romances make sense. You can identify someone by their unique scent. Only it’s not as romantic when they use machine olfaction devices.
The tried and somewhat traditional method of identity verification. Only now it is dynamic signatures captured on digital devices or static signatures matched to online databases.
Did you know the veins on your hands form unique patterns that can be used to identify you? Vascular veins are captured by infrared light and recorded on a charge-coupled device camera.
Your voiceprint can be combined with other biometric features like the shape of your throat and the length of your vocal cords for speaker recognition. Not to be confused with speech recognition which recognizes what is being said rather than who is speaking.
Biometrics has become an integral part of our lives. From unlocking our smartphones to accessing our homes and cars, we are surrounded by biometrics. As more and more aspects of our lives become automated with the help of biometrics, the demand for biometrics identity verification services continues to grow.
Why Does Your Business Needs A Biometric Identity Verification System?
Firstly, let’s clear up a few major misconceptions about biometric verification systems. One, it isn’t complicated to use. After all, we are already using it in smartphones. Two, it’s not as costly as billion-dollar data breaches. And three, no massive changes to your current systems are needed unless you want to be MI5.
Typically, identity verification requires three ways to verify identity: –
- Something you own
- Something you know
- Something you have
Multimodal biometrics combines several biometric sources to increase security and accuracy. Multimodal biometric systems require two or more biometric credentials for identity verification. Using two or more biometric features almost guarantees a perfect identity match and eliminates the need for knowledge-based authentication and passwords.
In your business, a biometric identity verification system can streamline many organizational processes, and improve data management and overall business security. If you are in the financial sector, health. In private security and in the age-restricted industry, a biometric verification system will be an invaluable asset in every sector of your operations. A biometric identity verification system can help: –
- Improved customer journey
- Better B2B customer onboarding
- Avoid age verification scams
- Safer data security
- Ongoing behavior monitoring of key staff
Traditional identity verification solutions are slowly becoming outdated as cybercriminals, scammers and fraudsters become more advanced. Biometric identity verification systems can give you peace of mind as it protects almost every aspect of your business. As the ultimate identity verification solution, biometric verification makes it easier for businesses to verify anyone, reduce security risks, and protect their business and customers from fraudsters and other cybercriminals.
Biometric Identity Verification Systems from IDMERIT
Most people are already familiar with the idea of fingerprints as a means of identification, but in recent years facial recognition software and other biometrics have become important parts of identity verification. We at IDMERIT have a suite of APIs with built-in multimodal biometric capabilities.
We currently use facial verification along with 12 other behavioral biometrics to verify identity and keep your biometric data secure. Our biometric identity verification systems allow you to verify anyone, anywhere, and at any time without strenuous changes to your current customer onboarding software. Combined with biometrics we use device fingerprinting, geolocation, IP addresses, and live video for stronger real-time identity verification.
Get real-time identity verification during B2B customer onboarding and design the ultimate behavior monitoring system for high-risk customers. Identify even the unbanked and those who try to hide behind their devices and false digital identities. Protect your staff, business premises, and consumer data with ease both online and off.
As the use of biometrics has increased, so too have the clear drawbacks of traditional identity verification methods. This is why we believe in multifactor authentication powered by AI-assisted methods and multimodal biometrics to give you the best options for digital identity security. Unmask fraudsters and get the ultimate identity verification solution for your business.