What is Biometric Technology?

Biometric verification is any means by which a person can be uniquely identified by evaluating one or more distinguishing biological traits (Margaret Rouse, n.d.)

Such recognition usually falls into one of the main categories such as:

  • Facial recognition
  • Hand geometry
  • Earlobe geometry
  • Signature comparison
  • Voice waveform recognition
  • Iris-pattern and Retina-pattern recognition
  • Fingerprint recognition
  • The above are the verification patterns which various technologies are built around in order to create working application use cases for larger security concerns.

    How can it be used to defend against cybercrime and cyber-related crimes?

    It is becoming ever more common to find fingerprint scanners on mobile devices in order to unlock them as well as extending security measures to apps installed on them. The same is true for iris/retina scanning available to many newer devices. This can be used to confirm payments online and guarantee that you are who you say you are. This aids in preventing cyber crime, as without anonymity, cybercrime becomes mostly pointless and easily traceable back to the false origin.

    It is possible to be identified by various physical traits while traveling through airports, purchasing items at a checkout or whilest casting your vote at a voting station.

    How Biometric Technology is used in cyber security

    Biometric technology will soon become the go to solution for stopping hackers. Fingerprints, facial recognition and even how fast you type could soon help protect users against cybercrime (Luke Graham, 2016).

    How does the technology work?

    When you register your biometric information, it is stored in a central database and is associated to yourself. Whenever a service needs to challenge this in confirming your identify, a separate record is saved in the database and the two sets of information are compared to one another. If there is a match, then you are identified as being who you say you are.

    Evaluate the security measures

    Biometric information has been around for quite a long time. Police have been fingerprinting for over a hundred years and have used biometric databases since the 1980?s. In 2013 the iPhone introduced the world to a device that could be unlocked by the owner?s fingerprint (April Glaser, 2016). These technologies are able to tell with greater than 95 percent confidence, that the person is who they say they are.

    Controversies that the use of Biometric Technology raises

    The biggest controversy as with a lot of other things regarding the rise of most things digital, is the shear privacy problems that arise with collecting, storing and using personal information. While a password or credit card are meant to be private and not shared with others, most biometric information is visible to the public and can be copied with a high resolution camera without even being close to the victim.

    Biometric data, whilst creating a seemingly fault proof way of verifying individuals, also creates many privacy concerns that would be criminals could find ways to exploit and take advantage of.


    Margaret Rous (n.d.) Biometric Verification [Online] TechTarget.com, Available from: http://searchsecurity.techtarget.com/definition/biometric-verification (Accessed on 16th September 2017)

    1. Liu ; M. Silverman (2001) A practical guide to biometric security technology [Online] IEEE.org, Available from: http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/abstract/document/899930/?reload=true (Accessed on 16th September 2017)

    April Glaser (2016) Biometrics Are Coming, Along With Serious Security Concerns [Online] Wired.com, Available from: https://www.wired.com/2016/03/biometrics-coming-along-serious-security-concerns/ (Accessed on 16th September 2017)

    Luke Graham (2016) Biometrics: The future of digital security [Online] CNBC.com, Available from: https://www.cnbc.com/2016/04/05/biometrics-future-of-digital-cyber-security.html (Accessed on 16th September 2017)