Biometrics refers to a process of identification of physical characteristics of an individual such as fingerprints, retinal patterns, etc. The technology has grown faster to replace document-based IDs. A vast majority of corporate houses now use Biometric Security as their most trusted method for authentication and performing background checks.
Biometric Security Threats & Countermeasure
While all looks good on paper things are not hunky-dory as they appear. So, is the method of biometric security foolproof and completely reliable? We attempt to find answers in our today’s post by exploring
- Threats to Biometric security
- Solutions to Biometric threats
The cutting edge of technology offers great convenience by replacing the archaic method of entering PIN and Passwords. However, every new method has some inherent challenges.
1] Threats to Biometric Security
A biometric system mainly consists of three different components:
Threat occurs at every stage. Consider the following,
Sensor: An electrical device that records your information, as well as reads it when your biometric information needs to be recognized. Some pieces of your physical identity can be duplicated. For example, a cybercriminal can get access to your fingerprints from a cup of coffee you might have left on your work desk. This information could potentially be used to hack into your devices or accounts.
Computer: There must be a storage device such as a computer to store the information for comparison. The data stored in a biometric database (a structured set of data held in a computer) is sometimes more vulnerable than any other kind of data. How? You can change your passwords but not fingerprint or iris scan. So, once your biometric data has been compromised, there’s no going back.
Software: The software is basically whatever connects the computer hardware to the sensor. More advanced hackers can provide a fake biometric sample to a sensor via Biometric processing attacks. It’s a technique in which understanding of the biometric algorithm is used to cause incorrect processing and decisions via software.
Other potential threats to Biometric Security can be broadly classified into
- Presentation attacks (spoofing), in which the appearance of the biometric sample is physically changed or replaced with a spoofed biometric sample that is attempted for authentication. There have been many different types of PAs for faces including print attack, replay attack, 3D masks.
- Software and networking vulnerabilities – This mainly includes attacks against the computer and networks on which the biometric systems run.
- Social and presentation attacks – Authorities relying on Biometric Security are tricked to leak and steal a user’s biometric identification.
2] Solutions for Biometric Security threats
Security specialists have long pointed to the fallibility of biometric systems. They have also outlined the risks of biometric data hacks and have therefore, advocated for robust solutions.
- Biometric security measure – It is a system designed to protect a biometric system from active attack via surveillance and supervision of sensors. Although good, it has one shortfall, the method is not designed to defend from zero-effort impostors.
- Switching to Behavioral Biometrics – The verification methods employed by Behavioral biometrics include keystroke dynamics, gait analysis, voice ID, mouse use characteristics, signature analysis, and cognitive biometrics. A combination of multiple factors for identification makes the solution a preferred choice.
- Use multi-factor biometric solution – This system that enrolls more than one type of biometric factors, like a one-two combo of retinal patterns, fingerprints and facial recognition. If the fingerprints match the retinal pattern, and the retinal patterns match the documents, you manage to build a multi-factor identity, a biometric security system that’s extremely difficult to hack.
- Enroll at high fidelity – From the various instances, it’s obvious that low-fidelity biometric scans are incapable of offering the desired level of protection. So, for the highest security, it’s crucial to enroll multiple fingerprints through a high-fidelity mechanism like those used by certified FBI channelers. These provide protection against DeepMasterPrint hack. The more data points the system uses to identify an individual, the less likely it is to be hacked and run over by exploits like false faces.
Lastly, the human is the ultimate machine system. So, having a person to check identity in real-time can increase the level of security and add accountability. After all, someone might fool a facial scanner by wearing a mask but is surely not capable to get past a human at a security checkpoint.
- Tags: Misc