Biometric Technology: A Brief History

Biometric authentication is fast becoming the golden standard for modern identity proofing processes. Biometrics encompasses the measurement of physical human traits such as fingerprint patterns, facial recognition, retinal patterns, voice recognition, and many more. These physiological characteristics are near impossible to forge, making them ideal barriers against fraudulent attempts.

Often, enterprises combine biometric technology with other authentication credentials to create a layered defense against bad actors. Multi-factor authentication (MFA) requires users to satisfy all the authentication requirements before granting access to the platform. Since biometrics is difficult to cheat, fraudsters will not be able to get past security and infiltrate the system.

The need for better digital security across enterprises continues to grow, especially as criminals are relentless in devising ways to exploit other people’s sensitive data. Moreover, legacy authentication methods like passwords are no longer enough to keep out fraudsters. Passwords are easily stolen, lost, or shared. They do not confirm that the person using the credential is the real owner and only prove that they know the information.

Because of these cybersecurity threats, regulatory bodies implement more stringent rules and regulations to encourage enterprises to shore up their authentication solutions. For example, the European Union (EU) recently implemented the revised Payments Service Directive (PSD2), which mandates payments services providers to adhere to Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) compliance on their platform by using more robust MFA.

Also, organizations such as the Fast ID Online (FIDO) Alliance develop specifications like the FIDO2 passwordless authentication protocol, which aims to eliminate the use of passwords. Many institutions have joined this industry association to improve their security measures, keep up with the changing industry trends and practices, and meet modern consumer demand for a seamless user experience.

Biometric technology has already achieved a secure state with full support for its integration. But how did this technology reach where it is now? To know more about the beginnings and evolution of biometric technology, see this infographic provided by LoginID.

Biometric Technology: a brief history