Biometrics: Identification and Security

Biometrics: Identification and Security

Muzhir Shaban Al-Ani (Anbar University, Iraq)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-5808-0.ch014


It is important to know that absolute security does not exist, and the main goal of the security system is to reach an optimal approach that satisfies the customer requirements. Biometrics is a small part of the security system that aims to replace a traditional password or a key. Biometrics offer higher security levels by simply ensuring that only the authorized people have access to sensitive data. It is easy to copy or get a traditional password using different methods (legal or illegal), but it is difficult to copy a key of biometric pattern such as iris or fingerprint or other patterns. Recent years have seen a boom in the use of biometric techniques in the design of modern equipment to maintain the information and personal identification. This chapter focuses on biometrics (types and technologies), personal identification, and specifications, and then how to implement these performances in security. Finally, a future aspect of merging technologies and disciplines is a good issue to treat via a specific concentration of information technology. In this chapter, two approached are proposed: a novel thinning algorithm for fingerprint recognition and a novel e-passport based on personal identification.
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Background Of Biometric

Traditional Security

Traditional security system may face with many problems:

  • Based on passwords, or identification cards

  • Can be lost easily.

  • Can be forgotten easily.

  • Can be stolen easily.

  • Can be used by a thief or intruder to access data.

Problems may appear with current security systems (Jain, Patrick & Arun, 2007):

  • Increasing use of IT technology that need more effort to protect data.

  • Each person may have multiple accounts/passwords.

  • It is difficult to remember so many passwords, so we need to create simple password using such as birthdays, wife, friends name, dog, cat … etc.

  • It is easy to crack passwords, because most passwords are simple and weak.

  • For strong passwords, it is difficult to remember multiple such passwords and it is easy to forget them.

Biometric technology can provide a higher degree of security compared to traditional authentication technologies. Biometrics is preferred over traditional methods for many reasons which include the fact that the physical presence of the authorized person is required at the point of identification. This means that only the authorized person has access to the resources.

Effort by people to manage several passwords has left many choosing easy or general words, with considerable number writing them in known places. This idea leads to passwords easily guessed and compromised. Also, tokens can be easily stolen as that is you have. By contrast, it is impossible for biometrics data to be guessed or even stolen in the same manner as token or passwords.

Biometric characteristics have identified many factors that determine the suitability of a physical biometric characteristic or behavioral biometric characteristic to be used in a biometric application (Jain, Bolle, & Pankanti, 1999).

  • Universality: In which everyone should have it.

  • Uniqueness: Small probability that two persons are the same with this characteristic.

  • Permanence: In which invariance with time.

  • Collectability: That can be measured quantitatively.

  • Performance: That high identification accuracy.

  • Acceptability: That acceptance by people.

  • Circumvention: How easy to fool the system by fraudulent techniques.

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