Seeing Through Hollywood: The Truth About Biometrics and How They Work.

Posted by Sydney Sebro on 10 July 2019

Using biometrics, like fingerprints, facial recognition, and retinal scans, has gone from science fiction to daily reality. So we're going to separate fact from fiction, and list the many benefits you reap when you rely on a biometric-based security strategy.

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Remember that movie when the heroes had to save the world by somehow slipping past the deadly security systems involving lots of lasers and scanners? Well, that describes a large share of movies made in the past 40 years!

Truth is, Hollywood produces great entertainment. We always enjoy seeing how “high-tech security” gets depicted on screen, no matter how over-the-top it appears. Unfortunately, the creative license at work in these shows also contributes to misconceptions, and outright myths about biometrics.

 

Origin story

Where do biometrics come from? While the word’s origins go back to biometry as a 19th century practice of calculating life expectancy, the dictionary defines biometry as “the process by which a person’s unique physical and other traits are detected and recorded by an electronic device or system as a means of confirming identity.” The word “recorded” in that definition hints at a misunderstanding at the heart of our first myth.

 

Biometric authentication

Modern biometric security systems rely on biometric authentication. This security process leverages the unique biological and behavioral characteristics of individuals to validate their identity and confirm they are who they say they are. Contrary to traditional security systems, modern biometric-based security effectively manages access to physical and digital resources such as buildings, rooms, and computing devices.

 

Myth-busting

Retinal scans and fingerprint readers have existed for a long time. Companies, like credit card manufacturers, have used biometrics for decades to guard top secret information from prying eyes. Today’s biometric-based security services bridge the gaps from the past, enabling easy access and integration with your existing security devices.

Misconceptions are the “fake news” of the business world, and the following myths deserve debunking.

 

MYTH #1: “They capture all your data then monitor and control your every move.”

The first and biggest myth about biometric devices revolves around where the data resides… or doesn’t. Many people believe that biometric scanners capture, analyze, and use the metadata generated against them.

Reality: They don’t, but you can. Meaning, most often the metadata created by biometric devices (including user-generated data) gets stranded, not collected at all. In fact, BioConnect networks biometric devices together so you can collect and make sense of all your data. Our platform does this to improve your security and protect your safety, not to assert control.

 

MYTH #2: We use retinal scanners, just like Star Trek”

The second myth revolves around the use of retinal scan technology. It’s easily the most iconic biometric device and has been a popular movie prop since the 1980s. (Who can forget Captain Kirk accessing his top-secret briefing in Star Trek II?)

Reality: Not so much. You don’t have to use retinal scanning technology to use biometrics. We almost never come across or use retinal scanning, probably because it costs so much. Instead, we use standard eye print recognition technology, which measures the veins in the whites of your eye. (100 percent safely, of course!) In fact, we only use biometric devices—like fingerprint, face, and eye print scanning technologies—that are proven, cost-effective, widespread, and user-friendly.

 

MYTH #3: “Biometrics are overkill. What we have works, so why replace it?”

Myth three addresses the longevity of legacy systems. To avoid what people may perceive as needless spending, business leaders often resist upgrading to new technology, even if what they use is quantitatively out-of-date.

Reality: Change is good. If you don’t modernize, prepare to pay a steep price. IBM reports that the “global average cost of a data breach is up 6.4 percent over the previous year to $3.86 million.” And that’s just a single breach. You can mitigate your risk, even during this era of growing cybercrimes.

 

MYTH #4: “Biometric solutions cost a fortune. We can’t afford to upgrade.”

Myth four talks directly to the perceived high cost of biometric devices. They are, after all, a significantly more secure technology from mere swipe cards, key fobs, and dongles. And it’s not just a hardware story. Business owners fear higher implementation and support costs when they upgrade their security.

Reality: Biometrics-based solutions often cost less, especially when compared to tokens. Our new customers consistently complain about the absurdly high cost of replacing lost swipe cards and fobs. They soon discover that, with biometrics, they can sidestep those costs while dramatically increasing their level of protection.

 

MYTH #5: “Biometrics will add just another layer of complexity to our IT.”

The fifth and final myth pertains to complex maintenance issues. Up-to-their-eyeballs in “patch and repair” work as they attempt to strategically re-platform systems architecture, IT directors can’t possibly manage yet another sophisticated system or security solution, no matter how effective it might be.

Reality: IT professionals should focus their skills on higher value work, not manage more tasks. As a B2B security services company, BioConnect integrates every node of a biometrically powered security system, from access device to software to administrative interface. As huge fans of the complex work your IT department accomplishes every day, our biometric platform leverages existing security devices and integrated them into a robust, sophisticated B2B service that not only modernizes your security, but also streamlines your business operations.

 

A new level of business security

Crimes today may originate from outside and inside your organization. A biometric-based security system protects your intellectual property and sensitive information as securely as it defends your valuable electronics, products, and expensive hardware from thieves. Reconsider your position on a modern, scalable security strategy.

Ready to affect positive change across your organization? Book your free security assessment from the experts at BioConnect.

Topics: Biometrics, Innovation, Digital Security, Biometric Myths