Fingerprinting: the biometric method of choice

Different biometric recognition methods offer different set of features, advantages and disadvantages. Cost is also an important factor to consider while choosing a biometric recognition system. For high security applications, multi-factor authentication or multi-modal biometric implementation can be considered, while low security applications can be implemented with single biometric modality.

Multi-modal biometric applications may hike up the investment required multi-fold, so there has to be a balance of everything and a thorough return on investment study may be required before taking up multi-modal biometric recognition. Fingerprinting is the most popular modality among all biometric recognition methods. Being inexpensive, easy to implement and use, it has most penetration in authentication and access control applications as well as consumer electronics like mobile phones and portable devices. Fingerprint scanners make use of sensors to scan a pattern. These sensors come equipped with different techniques to read and produce image of the fingerprint pattern.

Biometrics have proved to be more efficient, faster and securer than traditional identification practices like ID cards, access cards, PINs and passwords, which are either possession based or knowledge based authentication factors. Biometrics, being an inherence based factor, eliminates possibility to forget or share passwords and loss or theft of ID/access cards.

Implementing multi-modal biometrics or multi-factor authentication with biometrics as one of the essential factors provides even greater security, which is a common requirement in high security facilities like military setups, data centers, nuclear reactors, R&D facilities, etc.