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The History and Future Development of Biometrics in Security Systems 

The term “biometrics” is derived from the Greek words “bio” (life) and “metrics” (measurement) and means “life measurement” (to measure). Automated biometric solutions have only recently become available as a result of significant advancements in the field of computer processing technology.

However, many of these new automated procedures are based on concepts that have been around for hundreds, if not thousands, of years and have been refined over time. A biometric identification and verification system based on an individual’s unique biological characteristics is currently the most effective method of reliably and quickly identifying and verifying that individual.

The History of Biometrics in a Nutshell

A fingerprint was being used to authenticate individual seals by She, the Chinese emperor who reigned during the second century BCE. However, it was reported in 1858 that the first systematic capture of hand photographs for the purpose of identification had taken place. Sir William Herschel, while working for the Indian Civil Service, wrote each employee’s handprint on the back of a contract in order to distinguish employees from others who might claim to be employees when payday arrived.

As time progressed, significant advancements were made, most notably in the application of biometric technology in the security and surveillance sectors during the second half of the twentieth century.

Examples include the development of significant breakthroughs in iris recognition that began in the late 1980s and culminated in the filing of the first algorithm patent for automated iris identification in 1994. When a suspected or suspicious individual attempts to pass through security, airports and border controls will initially use fingerprints, iris scans, or facial features that have been collected in the past as a reference point for further investigation.

The Beginning of a New Era in Biometrics
In the early to mid-2010s, biometric technology was being developed in the banking, retail, and mobile phone industries, among others. Apple’s 5s smartphone, which debuted in 2013, was the first to make fingerprint scanning available to the general public as a biometric authentication technique for the first time.

When HSBC announced that up to 15 million of its banking customers in the United Kingdom would be able to use voice recognition and touch security services, the world took notice. Following suit, other financial institutions quickly followed suit, and today, fingerprint recognition is routinely used to access mobile banking services rather than a human PIN code.

In 2018, facial recognition technology was introduced to replace the use of fingerprints to unlock phones. The Samsung Galaxy S8 was one of the first major devices to make use of the software when it was released in 2018. The Galaxy Nexus was the first smartphone to use this technology, which at the time was considered too much of a “gimmick” and unreliable, demonstrating how far technology has advanced in such a short period of time.

The Most Common Types of Biometrics Used to Identify an Individual
Biometric identifiers are classified into two categories.

The use of physical or physiological measures, such as fingerprints

Among biometric identification methods, fingerprint recognition is generally regarded as the most widely used, most convenient, and most ancient method of identifying individuals. Printing fingerprints is a simple process that can be verified by comparing the patterns’ distinctive loops, arches, and whorls to the originals. Powerful algorithms are used to process the image after it is captured, resulting in the creation of an entirely unique digital biometric template.

Face Recognition is a type of facial recognition software that recognises a person’s face.

These identifiers operate on the basis of technology for identifying two-dimensional pictures of faces derived from still images and video sequences, as well as video sequences. Increasing numbers of video cameras are being installed on city streets and squares, airports, train stations, and other congested areas as multimedia technologies advance, indicating the direction of development and progression in facial recognition search.

Iris Recognition

As a result, the user does not have to concentrate on the target because the iris pattern is visible on the surface of the eye. This is a significant advantage of iris scanners. It is possible to scan the eye from a distance of less than one metre.

Scan of the Retina

Special near-infrared cameras are used to record the capillaries deep within the eye during a retinal scan. In order to use a digital signature during both registration and authentication, the raw photo is enhanced before being processed once more as a digital signature.

Analyses of Biological Origin

DNA, blood, saliva, and urine testing may be performed in certain fields of expertise, such as medical teams and police forensics.

Behavioral Measurements
Recognition of the human voice

Furthermore, it is regarded as one of the first biometric systems. The shape of a person’s vocal tract, which includes the nose, mouth, and larynx, determines the sound that is produced. The way a person expresses anything behaviorally – movement changes, tone, tempo, accent, and so on – is likewise distinct to each person.

Nasal tone, basic frequency, inflection, and cadence are the most essential qualities utilised for speech authentication.

Signature Dynamics

Simply comparing the degree of similarity between two images is used to determine whether or not the signatures are identical. A digital record of the measurements is made, and the information is then used to generate an automated biometric identity that can be verified later on.

The Dynamics of Keystrokes

Similar to a dynamic signature, but instead of a signature, a code or two-factor authentication is generated in order to verify the identity of the person.

Biometrics in the Future Biometrics in the Future
A large number of biometric services are currently being developed and tested. Hopefully, in a few years, these biometric technologies will be widely used throughout society. Plastic cards will soon fade into the background, and fingerprint scans will become a commonplace procedure.

As of now, iPhone users are utilising Apple Pay for their payments, which allows them to virtually access their card through their smartphone by entering their passcode or using face recognition technology. When compared to what we saw two years ago, this has progressed significantly.

For example, Visa launched biometric payment cards in the last couple of years, with the support of the Bank of Cyprus and Mountain America Credit Union, among other organisations. In order to facilitate contactless payments, these cards were equipped with an on-card biometric sensor that could be used to test fingerprint recognition in order to verify the cardholder’s identification during the transaction.

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Evangeline Christina is a Cyber Security Enthusiast, Security Blogger, Technical Editor, Certified Ethical Hacker, Author at Cyberspecial.net. Previously, he worked as a security news reporter in a reputed news agency.