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Stolen Fingerprints Can Sabotage Your Biometric Security

Traditional passwords are something that you actually know whereas biometric features are unique characteristics of your body. Fingerprinting, iris and retina scans, facial IDs, and voice patterns are a part of the human body, and they cannot be replicated. However, did you know that these unique features can be replicated as well? Seems a little weird but that is true.

Any regular finger printing authentication or other biometric system secures your data and stores a copy of the raw biometric data. The time when the user wants to log in to the system, the data which the system receives is then compared with the stored data. Biometric systems are now widely used and trusted. However, they can be vulnerable and you must be aware before something happens to your data.

It seems a little strange, but the unique nature of biometrics make them more vulnerable. It might offer a high degree of accuracy and efficiency though there is nothing you can do to secure your data over the biometrics you’ve used. For instance, if your right hand’s index fingerprint is replicated, you can use your the index finger on your other hand. But you must not forget that you only have ten fingers and you can try your luck and fingerprint for another ten times.

Once someone succeeds in replicating your fingerprint data, it will become an easy task for them to use the conductive ink that can be used to fool any biometric scanners around you. It works the same way as other replicating tools that are used to beat voice, thumb, iris, or retina scanners.

It means that it has now become a necessity to protect your raw biometric data from unauthorized parties. It is an increasingly difficult task, however, because every day, you use your biometric features to carry out your routine functions and protect your data.

Hardly a week goes by without any news of big companies that have become targets of data breaching, losing their company and clients' data. If you find out about the data breach, you can change your password, but if you are not able to access your account, you cannot securely log in to your other accounts, which can risk your personal data also.

In a recent biometric data breach, fingerprints, facial recognition data, face photos, usernames, and passwords of around one million people were revealed.

Improving Security

So how can you actually protect your sensitive data? Or how you can make your biometrics' security stronger? You must have a common practice to save your passwords by first encrypting them or using symbolic characters to make it unique. This type of one-way encryption transforms the password into a set of unique characters that make it impossible for the hacker to decrypt. It means if the hacker managed to obtain the password, they will not be able to encrypt it because it is not even possible for a hacker to break the modern systems.

You can also apply this password encrypting method to protect your biometric data so that only encrypted or message digest versions stay protected. In most of the data breaching cases, the stolen data was stored in raw format without encryption. That means the hacker can access any information, and it was not difficult for them to break or replicate biometric features .

The other way to make your biometric systems more secure is to use blockchain. The reason behind introducing cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin is that it stores customer data in a distributed ledger. This ledger is engraved by cryptography, which is available in multiple computers all around the world. Only the authorized user can access the data (blocks), and any other attempts being made to modify can be detected easily. If you wish to create a separate system for your organization, you can also create a private distributed ledger that will only grant access to a few superiors of your firm or company.

Another way to avoid data breaches caused by stolen prints is continuous identification system and the use of multiple biometric validation methods like we those used here with Smart Eye Technology. With the combined power or iris scan, facial recognition, fingerprint, and heartbeat scan, your security is fool proof and top notch.

According to a research, the biometric security systems will not stay for long. It has been demonstrated at the University of London that a fingerprint scanner using artificial intelligence can generate replica prints that can beat other fingerprinting scanners. After the launch of the device, you will not be able to use the fingerprinting security scanner. Also, the advanced computers might hold this ability to fool the biometric security system by enabling an imposter to sneak through. But for now, you can completely use biometric methods to secure your data and avoid data breaches at your organization.