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A Comparative Study of Biometrics Systems

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Summary
Biometric technology is a reasonably new method of authentication, providing highly secure
identification and personal verification solutions by the use of biological characteristics such
as fingerprints and hands. The report explores key areas associated with biometrics and
provides a full investigation into the established biometric techniques, ideally suited to the
commercial environment, and the applications biometrics are currently deployed.
The report finds biometrics are becoming more and more convenient and noticeably more
accurate than traditional methods such as passwords and PINs. Biometrics link the event to
a particular individual, requires nothing to remember or carry, provides positive
authentication by verifying individuals are who they claim to be, and is becoming an
inexpensive solution.
Biometrics has successfully been implemented in government applications such as
identification in border control systems and airports and has only recently being targeted for
businesses. With this target in its infancy, the report is targeted to the business profession.
The style of writing is adapted for this purpose and written from an introductory point of
view. The layout of the report following a logical plan, with definitions of biometrics
explained before proceeding to more advanced sections. The report contains all the relevant
research necessary for companies to address if biometrics is a solution for their aims and
requirements.

Contents Page
Summary………………………………………………………………………………………………………… i
Acknowledgements…………………………………………………………………………………………. ii
Contents Page………………………………………………………………………………………………… iii
1. An Introduction to Authentication…………………………………………………………………. 1
1.2. Introduction to Project……………………………………………………………………….. 2
1.2.1 Project Aim……………………………………………………………………………………… 2
1.2.2 Objectives and Minimum Requirements…………………………………………….. 2
1.2.3. Target Readership…………………………………………………………………………… 2
1.2.4 Acceptance Criteria………………………………………………………………………….. 5
2. History of Biometrics……………………………………………………………………………………. 6
2.1 Development……………………………………………………………………………………… 6
2.1.1 Biometric techniques………………………………………………………………………… 7
2.2 What are Biometrics? ………………………………………………………………………….. 7
2.2.1 Automated Methods………………………………………………………………………… 7
2.2.2 Identification and Verification…………………………………………………………… 8
2.2.3 Living Person………………………………………………………………………………….. 9
2.2.4 Physiological and Behavioural Characteristics…………………………………….. 9
2.2.5 Templates……………………………………………………………………………………… 10
2.3 How are Biometrics’ Measured?…………………………………………………………. 11
2.3.1 False Acceptance Rate (FAR)…………………………………………………………… 12
2.3.2 False Rejection Rate (FRR) ………………………………………………………………. 12
2.3.3 Security Threshold…………………………………………………………………………. 12
2.3.4 Factors to consider …………………………………………………………………………. 13
2.4 What makes a good Biometric? ………………………………………………………….. 14
2.5 What makes a good Biometric for your company? ……………………………….. 15
3. Biometric Techniques………………………………………………………………………………….. 17
3.1 Fingerprint Scanning…………………………………………………………………………………. 17
3.1.1 How it works…………………………………………………………………………………. 17
3.1.2 Hardware……………………………………………………………………………………… 18
3.1.3 Applications………………………………………………………………………………….. 19
3.1.4 Market Size……………………………………………………………………………………. 19
A Comparative Study of Biometric Systems
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3.1.5 Strengths and Weaknesses………………………………………………………………. 20
3.2 Signature Dynamics………………………………………………………………………………….. 21
3.2.1 How it works…………………………………………………………………………………. 21
3.2.3 Hardware……………………………………………………………………………………… 22
3.2.4 Applications………………………………………………………………………………….. 22
3.2.5 Market size……………………………………………………………………………………. 22
3.2.6 Strengths and Weaknesses………………………………………………………………. 23
3.3 Facial Recognition…………………………………………………………………………………….. 23
3.3.1 How it works…………………………………………………………………………………. 24
3.3.2 Hardware……………………………………………………………………………………… 25
3.3.3 Applications………………………………………………………………………………….. 25
3.3.4 Market Size……………………………………………………………………………………. 25
3.3.5 Strengths and Weaknesses………………………………………………………………. 26
3.4 Iris Recognition………………………………………………………………………………………… 26
3.4.1 How it works…………………………………………………………………………………. 27
3.4.2 Hardware……………………………………………………………………………………… 28
3.4.3 Applications………………………………………………………………………………….. 28
3.4.4 Market size……………………………………………………………………………………. 28
3.4.5 Strengths and Weaknesses………………………………………………………………. 28
3.5 Hand Geometry……………………………………………………………………………………….. 29
3.5.1 How it works…………………………………………………………………………………. 30
3.5.3 Applications………………………………………………………………………………….. 31
3.5.4 Market Size……………………………………………………………………………………. 31
3.5.5 Strengths and Weaknesses………………………………………………………………. 31
3.6 Voice Authentication ………………………………………………………………………………… 32
3.6.1 How it works…………………………………………………………………………………. 33
3.6.2 Hardware……………………………………………………………………………………… 33
3.6.3 Applications………………………………………………………………………………….. 34
3.6.4 Market Size……………………………………………………………………………………. 34
3.6.5 Strengths and Weaknesses………………………………………………………………. 34
4. Applications………………………………………………………………………………………………. 36
4.1 Physical Access ………………………………………………………………………………… 36
4.2 Time and Attendance………………………………………………………………………… 37
A Comparative Study of Biometric Systems
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4.3 E-Commerce……………………………………………………………………………………. 37
4.4 Virtual Access ………………………………………………………………………………….. 38
4.5 Surveillance……………………………………………………………………………………… 39
4.6 Telephony……………………………………………………………………………………….. 40
4.8 Biometrics and Smart Cards………………………………………………………………. 41
5. Limitations and Weaknesses ……………………………………………………………………….. 42
6. Conclusions……………………………………………………………………………………………….. 44
6.1. Project Management…………………………………………………………………………………. 45
6.1.1 Assessors Comments Addressed……………………………………………………… 45
6.2. Evaluation ………………………………………………………………………………………………. 47
References…………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 51
Appendix A – Project Reflection ……………………………………………………………………. 55
Appendix B – Background Reading……………………………………………………………….. 56
Appendix C – Schedule 60
Appendix D – Comparison chart

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