Biometric authentication is a method that measures a user’s biological characteristics to verify their identity. It compares physical and behavioral traits against biometric data stored in a database to determine that a user is who they claim to be. Organizations can use biometric authentication to grant access to physical and digital resources.
It’s important to note that biometric identification and biometric authentication, while related, are not interchangeable. Biometric identification uses biometrics such as fingerprints or retina scans to identify a person; and biometric authentication uses biometrics to verify a person.
Organizations can use any of the following technologies to digitally identify users or grant them access to a digital resource:
There are three vital components of biometric authentication:
As traditional username and password authentication grows increasingly untenable in the face of credential stuffing and similar attack techniques, biometric authentication has emerged as a secure but accessible alternative. Most major phone manufacturers and applications already use facial and fingerprint recognition to authenticate users without passwords. Biometric authentication is only likely to increase in popularity as users grow frustrated with creating and storing passwords for their ever-increasing number of digital identities.
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