Biometrics and Cybersecurity
man, face, facial recognition @ Pixabay

cybersecurity includes biometrics as an ingredient. While technology makes life easier, it also brings new challenges and flaws. Security is a top concern. cybersecurity is the protection of cyberspace against identity theft, data theft, and even computer resource theft. Hackers are constantly evolving. Hackers are constantly evolving as technology advances. They also use new skills and tools to set security systems. Passwords become inefficient as a protection mechanism.

Biometric security is quickly becoming a preferred method to protect cyberspace from hackers and malicious individuals. Technology giants like Apple Inc. have made it mainstream, including iris scans, fingerprint scanners and facial recognition.

Although technology plays an important role in combating cybercrime it also has its risks. To fully reap the benefits of biometric security, and to protect digital information they have, individuals and organizations must be aware of the following:

  • Individuals and organizations need to realize that they are vulnerable to attack. Cybercriminals can still hack into biometric data, including fingerprints and facial recognition.
  • Organizations that hold highly sensitive third-party information, such as hospitals and financial institutions, should be aware of the security implications of data breaches and their potential liability in the event of one.

Advanced biometrics provide extra protection for sensitive documents. Citibank already uses voice recognition to identify customers. British bank Halifax has also developed devices that monitor heartbeat to verify customers’ identities.

Ford has begun to incorporate biometric sensors into their vehicles in order to increase security. This technology doesn’t just perform one check on the driver. It analyzes the behavior of users in real-time and verifies whether they are actually there throughout their session on the digital platform.

Does Biometrics Cybersecurity signal a new age in Cybersecurity?

It appears so. It is clear that this technology will make cybersecurity infrastructure more secure. Hackers will find it harder to gain remote access to systems using these techniques. Hackers still require biometric scans to gain access to networks, even if they have passwords in hand. This technology was designed to be a single-stop solution. Can it provide data protection that is unmatched? Let’s take a look.

Does Biometrics cybersecurity suffice on its own?

Anyone who has seen a spy film will know that hackers can easily fool these systems. A biometric protection that uses facial recognition to protect your system is the best, but theoretically a skilled hacker could still penetrate the system by taking a high-quality photograph of you in front of the camera.

Biometrics and Cybersecurity
virtual identity, digital identity, computer @ Pixabay

This is because if someone wants to hack your system they will do anything. Biometric security should not be considered a standalone technique, although it is an important step in the right direction.

Functionalities for a Biometric System

Biometrics is more than just a fascinating technology to read and learn about. If used properly, it can be an extremely enabling technology. These three functions are the core of the technology: They can reduce cybercrime, make it easier to use, and create a safer society.

1. Verification Is this really Legit Joe! The technology can verify enrollment authentication claims with high accuracy using biometric data stored on the servers. Let’s say that a person claims to be Legit Joe and provides their fingerprint. The system will compare the fingerprint provided with the one already enrolled in the system to determine if it matches. If they match, the person is granted entry. If they are not identical, the person will be denied access.

2. Identification-this simply determines if the person is in or out of the database. The database may contain millions of identities. The system checks the biometric data to determine if any correlation exists. The most common identification applications are criminal investigation, parenthood determination and welfare disbursement. They also identify missing children, border control, identification of missing kids, and voter identification cards.

3. Screening to determine if an individual is on the watchlist radar. The screening services can be used for security purposes at airport security and public rallies.

Different approaches to biometrics

Biometric technology uses a variety of physical characteristics. Some are more secure than others. Let’s now examine some of these technologies that are focused on the recognition of the following physical characteristics.

  • Iris pattern
  • Voice
  • Fingerprints
  • Vein patterns
  • Typing behavior
  • Facial structure

This list only includes a small selection of physical characteristics that are useful in understanding the technology, and not all of them. Retinal scans, for example, are not included in the list. We will examine the setbacks faced by the listed technologies and you can apply the same philosophy as missing from this list.

How does technology work?

Biometric security is a sequential procedure that follows a set of steps. It starts with enrollment and then moves to storage, management, scanning, verification, object integration, and storage. Here is a list of steps.

Step 1 The first stage of the enrollment process is where an administrator oversees the collection and processing of biological characteristics. This is done by a sensor connected to the biometrics enrollment app.

Step 2 The enrollment application creates the reference template.

Step 3 The template is connected to the user’s ID and stored in a databank.

An employee who is working for a company will need to give the details they have collected at enrollment in order to be allowed to start work.

Evaluating biometrics

There are many types of biometrics and each one is different. Each approach has its own set of advantages and disadvantages, which makes it important to carefully analyze each solution before deciding on a specific access control system. Before we look at the biometrics technologies mentioned above, let’s take a look at some of their setbacks.

* Enrollment risk * Business continuity * Forgery

Enrollment risks

Enrollment is delicate and can be hampered by human error or poor vendor solutions. The acquired characteristics are stored in a database that serves as a reference template. If the reference template is flawed, even in the smallest degree, it will reflect at login time. This can lead to wastage of time or, worse, denial of access to the correct identity. This illustrates how sensitive information can be at the time it is input and how an error can cause a system to fail.

Business continuity

Imagine an enterprise running on one Active Directory domain controller. If the domain controller is down, no one can authenticate and the business activities will be terminated.


Some body parts are easier to forge than others. It’s easier to obtain a fingerprint impression that works seamlessly for different fingerprint recognition systems than it is to generate vein scans.

Datastore contamination

Once the reference templates are stored in the database the context they operate in, how the software accesses it, and other attack surfaces will determine the risk of cybercriminals replacing or contaminating the templates. Let’s say that the reference templates are stolen. They can then be used to compromise systems in different ways. For example, the templates could be used to gain access to the system, or to create multiple forgeries of the measured attributes.


Most accuracy problems are caused by engineering errors during the manufacturing of relevant sensors. Two types of errors in sensors can be measured: false rejection rate or false acceptance rate. False rejection errors are when a biometrics system fails to scan a legitimately enrolled user. On the other hand, false acceptance errors can occur if the biometrics system verifies that a person has not completed the enrollment process.

Selecting the Right Approach to Biometric Solutions

The remaining portion of this article will focus on biometric technologies. There are pros and cons to each solution, as not every access control problem can be solved by one technology.

Fingerprint Recognition

Most people think of biometrics first as a finger scan. To access my school library, I simply present one index finger to a fingerprint sensor. Many organizations use fingerprint scanners to track employees’ hours and monitor their clock in and out times. It is a common tool, but it can be abused by hackers.

What does it mean?

The sensor detects certain characteristics when you scan your finger. An algorithm converts the scanned data to the trial template.


  • several solutions available
  • Installing biometric technology is less expensive than other technologies


  • It is sensitive to environmental factors
  • It’s easy to forge

Facial Recognition

To enforce security, the technology uses an image from the user’s face.

How it works

To recognize a particular face in a camera image, the technology uses an algorithm. Databases with different facial shapes can be used to help distinguish the human face from the other parts of the camera’s view.

These are the various nodal points that uniquely identify a user’s facial features.

  • The shape of the cheekbones
  • Jawline length
  • Nose width
  • Depth of the eye sockets.


  • It is difficult to forge
  • It is more acceptable than contact-based methods.
  • Comparable to separate sensors, relatively inexpensive
  • Quick


  • The environment’s lighting is a major influence.
  • Due to racial differences, there are high chances of errors

Iris Recognition

Iris scanning provides the best way to find high accuracy and low rates forgery.

How it works

This technology detects the retina patterns of the eyes by shining light into their backs. The data is then used to create a reference template that can be used for verification. Below are two images of the human eye (a), and one showing the iris scanning process.

Vein Recognition

Below our fingertips, there is a complex network veins. Every individual has a unique pattern that can serve as a digital ID. This pattern can be captured by infrared waves, and stored as reference templates to allow for biometric access control. Below is an example of a vein scanner.

Fujitsu was the first to develop this technology. It was intended to be a contactless technology for recognition. It uses blood from veins that has specific characteristics known as deoxidized hemoglobin. Because oxygen is not carried back to the lungs, the blood does not contain any oxygen. Exposure to near-infrared light wavelengths causes hemoglobin to turn black. Because deoxidized hemoglobin is able to absorb light waves of near-infrared wavelength and change color, it’s easy to identify unique vein patterns. These can be stored as a reference template and used as biometric access control. This picture shows how near-infrared wavelengths extract blood vein patterns.


  • Similar to iris recognition, vein scanning does not require physical contact.
  • Very low error rates
  • It is almost impossible to forge


  • This new technology is still in development, so it doesn’t have an objective standard.

Voice and Typing

Voice recognition and keystroke dynamics, which are not biometrics used to improve cybersecurity, are less well-known and have not been widely adopted.

Voice recognition

Although voice recognition is simple to use for users, cybercriminals are able to easily forge it. This technology uses voiceprints to create reference templates. It is less accurate than other methods and can be used to steal identity through recording devices. Although voice recognition is a good option for mobile-based authentication it can have some issues when the user must speak into a microphone. Voice authentication is not suitable for cubicle-dense environments because it is sensitive to environmental factors like background noise.

Keystroke dynamics

It is possible to determine how fast or slow individual types can be used for identifying a person. Although the technology is simple to use in a business setting, it can be difficult to pinpoint the exact person. It doesn’t require an external device, and enrollment occurs automatically as long as the user uses a computer to perform their daily activities. Keystroke dynamic is a great option if you are looking for a biometric method that is cheaper, easier to use, and adds another layer to multi-factor authentication.

Final thoughts

Technology is rapidly evolving. This means that there are more attack vectors available and increased attack surfaces. New defense mechanisms provide security and improvements for new threats. Cybercriminals use the latest technology to exploit it, using advanced techniques like deep learning to imitate the voice in order to defeat approaches such as voice recognition.

Because hackers can still hack into cyberspace devices, biometrics cannot be used alone. Biometric security technology should only be used in conjunction with a multi-factor authentication scheme.