Do You Recognize That Face, or Finger?

March 1, 2008
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In 2008, biometric technology will continue its influx into the mainstream as airports, financial institutions, corporations, healthcare organizations and governments continue to adopt them for access control. Biometric technology is becoming increasingly popular because it enhances security without complicating the access control process. A user simply presents his face or fingerprint in order to confirm he is who he claims to be. Biometric solutions are growing in popularity as they can easily combine with other authentication methods, such as smart cards, for multi-factor authentication.

Opportunities for Fingerprint Technology

Fingerprint technology, the most widely deployed and mature biometric technology, will continue to dominate in 2008. The wide-scale deployment of equipment with fingerprint sensors, such as access control readers and laptops, has driven down the cost of this fast and user-friendly technology. Fingerprint readers are also taking advantage of existing access control infrastructure and are starting to be used in conjunction with personal identification number (PIN) protocols, proximity cards, smart cards and tokens.

Fingerprint authentication is becoming an ideal option for network access control and again can be combined with other authentication credentials for multi-factor authentication. This is important as organizations continue to meet compliance regulations such as Sarbanes-Oxley, the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act and the Payment Card Industry Standard. Common to all of these regulations is the need for strong authentication and access control, which fingerprint authentication can provide.

Fingerprint readers are also finding the way onto smaller mobile devices, such as smart phones and PDAs. As these devices continue to add functionality, a security risk arises since such devices are a gateway to confidential information. It’s becoming vital to secure them.

Increased Adoption of Face Recognition

The second most widely deployed biometric technology after fingerprint is face recognition technology, according to International Biometrics Group (IBG). IBG predicts the face recognition market will grow to over $1 billion in revenue by 2012. 3D face recognition technology will advance the commercial adoption of face verification and make headway in 2008.

3D face recognition technology will continue to gain traction for access control and is already being used by organizations with a high traffic volume to quickly, easily and securely authenticate users.

2D face recognition is used primarily by law enforcement officials to identify someone by comparing his or her 2D image against a large database of pictures. 3D face recognition, on the other hand, is designed primarily for verification – to confirm that someone is who he/she says he/she is. 3D face readers can also be used with PINs, access control cards and tokens for multi-factor authentication.

3D face recognition is as fast and accurate as fingerprint technology and is ideal in situations where workers’ hands are full or dirty, or where employees wear gloves.

2008 promises to be a big year for the biometric industry. With so much progress already, this will be the year when fingerprint readers and face recognition technologies become more visible and more widely adopted by mainstream users.  

About the Source
Security Magazine thanks Matthew Bogart, vice president of marketing at Bioscrypt Inc. Primary responsibilities include evaluating strategic partnerships, assessing possible mergers and acquisitions, conducting market research, and overseeing corporate governance, investor relations, industry analyst relations and public relations. E-mail him at matthew.bogart@bioscrypt.com

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