What Is Biometrics? How Is It Used in Security?

What Is Biometrics? How Is It Used in Security?
What Is Biometrics? How Is It Used in Security?

Cybersecurity is an enormous concern for anyone who uses the internet or anything remotely related to technology.

Some might say that the feeling of fear is irrational, but it is not. Safeguarding your network from unwarranted attacks and attention is paramount, and biometrics is a step towards that security.

With time, it became more obvious that the authentication of the user’s identity would become the best parameter to determine whether the user should be granted access or not. This led to various advancements, and now we have a marriage between authentication and biometrics!

Let us dive deeper into this topic of biometrics and security!

What is Biometrics Authentication?

Let us begin with understanding authentication.

To authenticate means to prove that something is real or true, that something is as they say it is. Authentication in relation to cybersecurity and networks means the process of proving the identity of the internet user to access the concerned device, account, network, or server.

Authentication has been put to use in order to verify the identity of the user and authorise them access to the server. The traditional way of authentication in cybersecurity is to use a username and password for the network. The newest addition to the authentication family is biometric authentication.

Typically associated with multi-factor authentication, biometric authentication is widely utilised by mobile devices and laptops to prevent third-party entrance into the devices. With multi-factor authentication, biometrics is usually the last layer of verification.

The first one is the knowledge layer (credentials), the second one is the possession layer (OTP on the mobile device), and the third one is inherence (biometrics like fingertips or irises).

When your body is utilised for authentication, it is known as biometric authentication.

The biometric system’s security operates in various ways. Let us learn more about them.

3 Ways in Which Biometric Security Works

1.  Biological Biometric Authentication

Your biological features are stored in the central server or the user device in order to verify your identity at the time of the login procedure. This system uses your genetic, molecular, and biological traits to identify you and grant you access to the network.

Below are a few types of authentication that come under biological biometric authentication.

  • Veins Recognition
  • DNA Recognition
  • Skull Shapre Recognition
  • Blood Recognition

2. Morphological Biometric Authentication

When the authentication and verification process includes the verification of your body or organ structure, it is known the morphological biometric authentication.

The geometry, structure, positioning, and look of your organs are included in this type of authentication. To list a few types of morphological authentication:

  • Fingerprint Recognition
  • Facial Recognition
  • Eyeballs Recognition
  • Hand Geometry

3. Behavioural Biometric Authentication

When your device identifies the way the user performs a certain activity, it comes under behavioural biometric authentication.

Your device can scan and identify your typing speed and the way you press your keys, too. So, it can be used in order to authorise access to the network from your device.

  • Voice Recognition
  • Signature Stroke Recognition
  • Keystroke Recognition

How Does Biometric Authentication Work?

Let us understand how biometric authentication works step-by-step.

1. Registration

The first time you sign up or subscribe to a network or server, the server asks you for a few details. These details register you as a user of the network.

These details usually include your name, age, mobile number, email address, etc.

2. Credentials

The system will also ask you to create a username and password for your account on this network.

It is recommended to use a powerful password in order to avoid any kind of cybercrime like hacking.

3. Primary Bio-Data Scan

If the network is protected using multi-faceted authentication, the system will demand you to scan your fingerprint or face (whatever type of recognition the system’s security demands).

4. Data Storage

Now, this data, for example, your fingerprint, will be registered in the central server or the device. Preferably on the device! (We will talk about this later.)

5. Multi-factor Login

When you try to log into the system after the registration is complete, you will have to enter your credentials as the first layer of security. Then, you will have to enter the one-time password that this network sends to your mobile or email address.

Later, you will have to scan your fingerprint into the system to pass the third level of authentication, the biometric authentication.

6. Comparison of Data for Authentication

The system compares the stored registered data of your fingerprint scan and matches it with the user who is trying to log in with the same credentials.

When the two nearly match each other, the network lends you access to the network until the next login.

Is Biometric Authentication Important For Network Security?

Yes! Biometric authentication is essential for network security because it is the closest a system can reach to verifying a person’s real identity. Since biometric security directly deals with biological and inherent features of the user, it proves to be really authentic and accurate.

It goes without saying that biometric security is the latest addition to the security system of cyber scenarios, and there is a solid reason behind that. Although there are a few limitations to the system, the advantages outweigh the drawbacks by a mile.

Benefits Of Biometric Authentication

1. The accuracy of biometric authentication is unbeatable. The generic and traditional forms of authentication, like username-password and OTP, can be tackled easily. However, that is not the case with biometric authentication.

You cannot fake an iris. With the accurate identification of the user, you can always keep your system protected and healthy.

2.  In the case of credentials, it can be tedious to memorise the username and password of your account, mainly because we have so many accounts on various platforms. This can lead to an overwhelming amount of passwords to memorise. However, that is not the case with biometric inputs.

You don’t have to worry about memorising passwords or entering the correct OTP. Since you take your biometric with you, it becomes highly convenient to use.

3.  This is security at its best! If someone maliciously tries to get into your account, there is no way they can crack your biometrics.

They might be able to crack your password with the help of DDoS attacks and get the OTP by hacking your mobile but not your fingerprint, iris, DNA, or voice.

Drawbacks Of Biometric Authentication

  1. It can be very expensive to implement a biometric security system on a network since it requires hardware and integration of the software with every device.
  2. It cannot be revoked remotely or reset once it is registered under a user’s name.
  3. In research, it was observed that facial recognition works accurately on white men but can go wrong with falsely identifying people of colour and women.
  4. As mentioned above, it is recommended to store these biometric data on the user’s device itself because storing it in the central server can be harmful. Since organisations tend to utilise your data for personal purposes, it is a personal concern for everyone. There is also the threat of governments getting access to your biometric data and utilising it for different uses.

As mentioned above, there are a few drawbacks when it comes to biometric security in multi-factor authentication. However, the benefits outweigh these limitations by being far more helpful.


It is crucial for a network to stay under the shelter of maximum security systems. It can be zero-trust network access, multi-factor authentication, biometric authentication, SSL certificates, data backups, antivirus software, etc.

In cybersecurity, more is good, and more is better!

With the help of trusted security solutions like Instasafe’s multi-factor authentication, you can protect your server from unknown threats on the World Wide Web!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Can biometric security be hacked?

It is possible to hack a system or network that uses biometric authentication, but the person has to use malicious techniques in order to do that. Otherwise, it is challenging to hack a system that is protected with biometric data.

2. Who should include biometric security in their multi-factor authentication system?

Anyone and everyone with a network! If you have a sensitive or monetary database, you should definitely opt for biometric authentication.

3. How to safeguard your biometric data?

You can protect your biometric data by using strong internal passwords, keeping the system updated, installing antivirus and other security applications and tools, etc.