Cross-checking biometrics to tighten security

Biometrics - or the calculation of the physical measurements of humans - isn't a new kid on the block when it comes to security measures.

However, biometric security measures such as fingerprint, iris or signature scans have traditionally been approached with trepidation by users concerned with the 'intrusiveness' of such technologies.

Similarly, organisations looking to implement biometric security measures have been deterred by a number of factors, including the cost of specialised hardware, and the chance of inaccuracies caused by a reliance on one method of identification.

In the wake of recent events, however, both companies and users are scrambling for more secure identification and verification measures, and German-based companies BioID and BioData are looking to capitalise on this trend with the launch of their BioID 3.0 product.

Aiming to circumvent the existing issues surrounding biometric security, the BioID 3.0 software analyses three different physical traits simultaneously in an effort to increase the accuracy of identification.

Utilising a standard PC webcam and microphone, users have to recite a standard recognition phrase while the software goes to work scanning their face and voice, and analysing their lip movements.

According to Ho Chang, CEO and president of BioID Asia Pacific, the combined analysis of 'static' or unchanging biometric traits such as face recognition, and the 'dynamic' or behavioural characteristics of voice recognition and lip movement, allows for a more comprehensive identification process.

Chang said that this 'multimodal' technology has a number of uses, including door entry, systems access and e-commerce. In addition, the technology can also be used for things like smartcards or ATMs, with Chang predicting that biometric ATM's are not too far off.

"We live in this extremely complicated, networked planet, but our systems still only recognise us not by who we are, but by the passwords and PINS, which can be stolen so easily," he said.

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