O.S. Ushmaev, I.N. Sinitsyn
Nowadays rapidly growing number of informational systems are considered as high-availability applications. High availability, in particular, means that an arbitrary user can get an access to a service or data in acceptable time according to their rights. Granting access and personified account demand tools for user identification and authentication.
At the moment, the most widespread techniques of identification use information (password, PIN etc), object (key, smart card etc) and their combination. These identifiers are very vulnerable to loss. In this situation biometrics become attractive as substitution of listed identifiers since biometric can actually be lost or stolen.
According to Acuity Market Intelligence biometric market shares by technology are the following. Fingerprint biometrics occupy more then 50% share. The second is facial biometrics. Iris and hand geometry has 7% share each. Every biometrics has its own advantages and disadvantages in certain applications. Fingerprints are affiliated with criminal ID, face is not reliable biometrics etc.
If we consider allying of biometrics to information security in general, we can study three independent area: physical access to hardware, authentication in operational system and data protection. Each area imposes specific requirements to involved biometrics.
Physical access devices has very weak processors on board. That means we need very high-throughput biometrics. User authentication in OS requires cheap scanners. Data protection assumes generation of robust keys for cryptographic applications.If we fuse all three area into complex IT security basing on single biometrics, we have to use iris or fingerprints.