Writing for SemiconductorEngineering, Ernest Worthman notes that while biometrics offer a plethora of potential security-based tools, there are currently only two in wide-scale deployment: fingerprints and facial scanning.
Indeed, according to ABI digital security analyst Dimitrios Pavlakis, fingerprints account for 60% to 70% of all biometric applications. Additional technologies eyed by major industry players include iris, retina, face, palm and hand scans.
Dr. Patrick Gill, senior research scientist at Rambus, says fingerprints and irises play a role similar to other types of static authentication credentials such as social security numbers.
“There are very few circumstances where such [numbers] would be changed,” Gill confirmed.
Meanwhile, Paul Kocher, president and chief scientist at the Rambus Cryptography Research division, says facial, hand, iris, retina and voice scans are workable biometric models that he ultimately expects to evolve.
“There are [other] futuristic solutions on the design table, but there is little, real hard evidence that some work, and some are so complex that we don’t really have the technology to make it happen [such as DNA],” Kocher told SemiconductorEngineering.
“And, there are the issues of forgeries. For example, all one has to do is hold a video of the person taken on a smartphone up to the camera, and it will happily accept that as the person being present. I’m skeptical of claims that say these solutions will be foolproof. Tricking a sensor into thinking there is a match, even when the particular human isn’t there, tends to be very possible.”
As Kocher previously told the publication, biometric security platforms may seem promising, although there are still a number of fundamental challenges the industry needs to address.
“One of them is that there is not really anything secret about someone’s biometric attributes. You are constantly displaying your face, eyes, other physical traits, as well as leaving your fingerprints everywhere,” he concluded.
“There is [also] really no way to ‘revoke’ a fingerprint. [True], there are claims made by vendors that they can prevent people from making prosthesis or duplicating biometric images. [However], those claims have not, generally, held up.”
Interested in learning more about biometric security? You can check out part one of “The Evolution of Biometric Security” on Rambus Press here, Ernest Worthman’s “Get Ready For More Biometrics” on SemiEngineering here and Ernest Worthman’s “Biometrics For The IoT” on SemiEngineering here.