What is Biometrics?

The stealing secretes from the computers are more profitable than robbing bank. The data are loaf and butter for all organizations. All the organizational activities revolve around it. Now a day, data stealing is easy due to advancement of Information Technology. The concept of biometrics is a security protocols to protect computers from unauthenticated persons. The term biometrics is made from two ancient Greek words: bios (life) and metron (measurement).

It is a system of computer security based on human measurable behaviors. In the world of computer security, biometrics refers to authentication (confirmation) techniques that rely on measurable physical and behavioral characteristics that can be automatically checked. Some measurable physical characteristics are fingerprint, retinas (inner most sensitive layer of eye), iris (pigmented portion of eye in which pupil is situated centrally), vein, facial patterns, hand measurement etc.

In behavioral characteristics, signature, gait (step or pace), tying patterns etc are used for authentication. Voice has both, physical and behavioral characteristics. Biometrics and forensics have a lot in common, but they are not exactly the same. Biometrics uses your physical or behavioral characteristics to determine your identity or to confirm that you are who you claim to be. Forensics uses the same kind of information to establish facts in civil or criminal investigations.

There are several types of biometric identification schemes:


(i) Face: On the basis of the analysis of facial characteristics


(ii) Fingerprint: On the basis of the analysis of an individual’s unique fingerprints


(iii) Hand geometry: On the basis of the analysis of the shape of the hand and the length of the fingers.


(iv) Retina: On the basis of the analysis of the capillary vessels located at the back of the eye.


(v) Iris: On the basis of the analysis of the colored ring that surrounds the eye’s pupil


(vi) Signature: On the basis of the analysis of the way a person signs his name.


(vii) Vein: On the basis of the analysis of pattern of veins in the back if the hand and the wrist


(viii) Voice: The analysis of the tone, pitch, cadence and frequency of a person’s voice.


1. Advantage of Biometrics

  • Password management is not required.
  • There is no need of remembering password and identification numbers.
  • Biometric finger print reader is absolutely safe and reliable.
  • Biometric information cannot be stolen, and it has no chance of missing. It is absolutely safe.
  • Biometrics plays vital role in e-commerce. The e-commerce is totally based on computer system and its safety and security was a challenging problem for business organizations.


2. Application of Biometrics

(a) Government Sectors: The need for biometrics can be found in federal, state and local governments, in the military, and government IDs.


(b) Business or organization: It is a strong security measurement in commercial applications. Enterprise-wide network security infrastructures, retail sales etc are its major application area. Marketing executives, corporate peoples, business men use laptops equipped with biometric fingerprint readers.


(c) Banking: It is helpful for secure electronic banking, investing and other financial transactions.


(d) Criminology: Biometrics is a rapidly evolving technology which has been widely used in forensics such as criminal identification and prison security.


(e) Civilian applications: Biometrics can be used to prevent unauthorized access to ATMs, cellular phones, smart cards, desktop PCs, workstations, and computer networks. It can be used during transactions conducted via telephone and Internet (electronic commerce and electronic banking). It is also used in health and social services.


(f) Border Control: Many countries have started using biometrics for border control and national ID cards.


3. Procedures of biometric system


A biometric system is essentially a pattern recognition system which makes a personal identification by determining the authenticity of a specific physical or physiological or behavioral characteristic possessed by the user. An important issue in designing a practical system is to determine how an individual is identified. Depending on the context, a biometric system can be either a verification (authentication) system or an identification system.

Some common procedures are registration, storage and comparison.


(i)Registration: The first time you use a biometric system, it records your physical and behavioral characteristics, like your name or an identification number. It then captures an image or recording of your specific trait.


(ii)Storage: This information is then processed by a numerical algorithm, and entered into a database. The algorithm creates a digital representation of the obtained biometric.

Biometrics in storage system

Biometrics in storage system

(iii) Comparison: The next time we use the system, it compares the digital template you present to the information on file. Then, it either accepts or rejects that you are who you claim to be.



4. Systems requirement for biometrics system


System also uses the same three components:

(i) Sensor: A sensor that detects the characteristic being used for identification.


(ii) Computer: A computer that reads and stores the information.


(iii) Software: Software that analyzes the characteristic, translates it into a graph or code and performs the actual comparisons. There are many software available for this purpose.


5. Fingerprint


Among all the biometric techniques, fingerprint-based identification is the oldest method which has been successfully used in numerous applications. Everyone is known to have unique, immutable fingerprints. A fingerprint is made of a series of ridges and furrows on the surface of the finger. The uniqueness of a fingerprint can be determined by the pattern of ridges and furrows as well as the minutiae points.

Minutiae points are local ridge characteristics that occur at either a ridge bifurcation or a ridge ending. When finger print is scanned, its mathematical algorithm is produced which are then converted into digital template for comparisons.

A mathematical algorithm considers these points:

  • Pattern of ridges
  • Patterns of furrows
  • Minute points

(i) At ridge bifurcation, and

(ii) At ridge endings

Suppose when fingerprint of individual is scanned and processed, the numeric values of ridges, furrows, and points are stored in the system’s database. If any individual want to access system, his/ her number of ridges, furrows, and points are matched with stored value, if values are matched, system is accessed.

It can be shown by simple program:



Void main()


int ridges;

int furrows;

int point1;

int point2;



prinff(“ \n Enter number of ridges:”);

scanf(“%d”, &ridges);

printf(“\n Enter number of furrows”);


printf(”\n Enter number of points at ridge bifurcation :”);


printf(“\n Enter number of point at ridge ending:”);

scanf(“%d”, &point2);

if(ridges==100 && furrows == 101 && point1 == 21 && point2 == 20)


printf(“\n \t \t Your fingerprint is matched \n”);

printf(“\n \t \t WELCOME, SYSTEM IS READY \n”);

printf(“\n \t \t”);

cputs (“you are authorized person”);






cputs(“you are not authorized person”);





6. Vein Geometry


As with irises and fingerprints, a person’s veins are completely unique. Twins don’t have identical veins, and a person’s veins differ between their left and right sides. Many veins are not visible through the skin, making them extremely difficult to counterfeit or tamper with. Their shape also changes very little as a person ages.

To use a vein recognition system, you simply place your finger, wrist, palm or the back of your hand on or near the scanner. A camera takes a digital picture using near-infrared light. The hemoglobin in your blood absorbs the light, so veins appear black in the picture. As with all the other biometric types, the software creates a reference template based on the shape and location of the vein structure.

Scanners that analyze vein geometry are completely different from vein scanning tests that happen in hospitals. Vein scans for medical purposes usually use radioactive particles. Biometric security scans, however, just use light that is similar to the light that comes from a remote control.

Personal computers of the future might include a fingerprint scanner where you could place your index finger. The computer would analyze your fingerprint to determine who you are and, based on your identity, authorize you different levels of access. The users get rid of password and identification numbers. Once physical and behavioral characteristics of users are registered, and digital template is store in database, your system is scaled as safe and secure.

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