|Biometrics technologies measure a particular set
of a person’s vital statistics in order to determine identity.
The word biometrics comes from the Greek words bio and metric, directly translating into “life measurement.” General science has included biometrics as a field of statistical
development since the early twentieth century. An example is the statistical analysis of data from agricultural field experiments comparing the yields of different varieties of wheat. In this way, science is taking a life measurement of the agriculture to ultimately determine more efficient methods of growth.
In the most contemporary computer science applications, the term “life measurement” takes on a slightly different role. Biometrics in the high technology sector refers to a particular class of identification technologies. These technologies use an individual’s unique biological traits to determine one’s identity. The traits that are considered include fingerprints, retina and iris patterns, and facial characteristics.
One can see that biometrics is still an appropriate title
The biological traits used in modern biometric applications are chosen based on our technical ability to catalogue and track them. Some traits are easier to obtain than others. Fingerprints, for example, are relatively simple to record and store in a database. They also tend to be less accurate and secure than other more complex biometrics.
Advances in biometric technology are focused on improving the accuracy and security of measurements and reducing the cost to levels appropriate for consumer applications. Simple and low cost systems available today, such as fingerprint readers, will become more reliable. High accuracy systems such as retina scanners will drop in price and will eventually supplement or replace existing systems.
As this book serves proof of, digital security is in ever-growing demand. Complex breaches of security are becoming a worldwide problem. The focus on biometric systems is an industry-wide response to the call for more effective security.
The above information is the start of a chapter in "Network Security Illustrated," published by McGraw-Hill and available from amazon.com, as well as your local bookstore. The book goes into much greater depth on this topic. To learn more about the book and what it covers, click here.
Below, you'll find links to online resources that supplement this portion of the book.