As the number and level of security breaches and transaction fraud increase, the need for highly secure identification and personal verification technologies is becoming increasingly apparent, a new report finds.
This rapidly evolving technology is being widely used in forensics applications, such as criminal identification and prison security, and has the potential to be used in a wide range of civilian application areas as well.
Biometric-based authentication applications include workstation, network and domain access; single sign-on; application log-on; data protection; remote access to resources; transaction security; and Web security.
The ability to trust these electronic transactions is essential to the healthy growth of the global economy. Utilised alone or integrated with other technologies such as smart cards, encryption keys and digital signatures, biometrics applications are poised to pervade nearly all aspects of the economy and our daily lives.
Utilizing biometrics for personal authentication is becoming more convenient and considerably more accurate than current methods such as the utilisation of passwords or personal identification numbers (PINs).
Biometrics links an event to a particular individual; not only is it convenient, accurate and capable of providing an audit trail, but it is becoming socially acceptable and inexpensive.
Biometrics are being incorporated into solutions that provide security, including applications for improving airport security, strengthening national borders, protecting travel documents and visas, and preventing identification (ID) theft. There is increasing interest in biometrics among state and local governments.
Many organisations are addressing the important role that biometrics will play in identifying and verifying the identity of individuals and protecting national assets.
There are many needs for biometrics beyond security; enterprise-wide network security infrastructures, secure electronic banking, investing and other financial transactions, retail sales, law enforcement, and health and social services are already benefiting from biometric technologies.
A range of new applications can be found in such diverse environments as amusement parks; banks, credit unions and other financial organisations; enterprise and government networks; passport programs and drivers’ licenses; colleges; physical access to facilities, such as nightclubs; and school lunch programs.
Biometrics are already playing a major role in many industries, including medicine, science, robotics, engineering, manufacturing businesses.
It is expected that the cost of biometric devices will become so low that the number of devices in use will skyrocket – the same way that the use of wireless broadband has soared over the past decade.
Despite technical problems and privacy concerns, the use of biometrics is increasing for enterprise as well as for mass-market applications, albeit at a rather slow rate. In fact, the rate is slower in the enterprise area for critical security identification, although the use of applications, such as voice response systems, seems to be on the rise.
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