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What is Biometric Authentication and What Problems Can It Bring

What is Biometric Authentication and What Problems Can It Bring

We are always in search of smartphones with fingerprint recognition system. It makes us feel more secure about our personal data. But this feeling of safety can sustain as long as you are not aware of the dark side of biometric authentication systems. 

What are biometric authentication systems?

Security professionals from macsecurity say that people are not careful enough to use complex password combinations, and many times, they even forget their access details. In order to solve these troubles, manufacturers these days have designed variety of biometric authentication systems. It seems a magical alternative where traits are unforgettable and unique; moreover, they are super easy to use. Instead of messing with lots of details; users simply need to swipe their finger or scan their eyes to gain access to the system, or mobile. The facility is not just limited to smartphones; rather big companies also prefer to use them for employee attendance management. In these systems, authentication or access is provided only after scanning finger or retina. 

A few years ago, these systems were like a boon for cyber world. But now, it is time to look at the threats and risks associated with these systems. 

Risks associated with the biometric authentication system

The exposure of this biometric data to hackers may pose serious privacy risks at multiple levels. The biometric data stored in the memories of authentication systems can be used for identity-based attacks and other criminal activities. Vulnerabilities, storage design flaws, and host system misconfigurations are some of the most common methods to compromise biometric data. 

One of the most significant security issues with a biometric authentical system is that it works on some immutable data; you cannot change your fingerprint or retina scans like standard access passwords. They stay the same for a lifetime. And when your sensitive data is stored in the storage system of some third-party product, you cannot be sure how they are going to use it. Moreover, the digital data is vulnerable to hacker’s attack. Once they gain access to your biometric records, they can pose a severe threat to your identity and personal records. 

Imagine an instance where a company makes use of fingerprint scans to allow employee access in some secure areas. Now if the fingerprint records from the biometric authentication systems are compromised or stolen without your notice, anyone can reach those secure terminals in your premises. It can pose serious threats to big companies, government organizations and even to the security agencies. 

Similarly, if you use fingerprints to access your banking apps and transactions, the stolen details may pose serious threats to your finances. Hackers may control the transactions on your bank account and may steal all your funds. 

Hence, it is not good to entirely rely on biometric authentication systems. One should always use some additional means of security to ensure secure access. Appropriate data encryption technologies must be used for storage units in biometric authentication systems. Also, these systems must be upgraded from time to time.

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