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Biometric Encyclopedia

Biometric Authentication

Authentication is the process of establishing someone or something as genuine, true, or valid. Biometric authentication uses unique biological characteristics such as a person’s face, irises, fingerprints, or voice to accurately confirm that the user is who they claim to be and has the right to access certain data or systems online.

Prior to biometric authentication, a user must usually complete an online onboarding process in order to create a biometric template. When the user returns, the technology validates their unique biometric characteristic (i.e. their face) against the biometric template. Unlike verification, which typically takes place once during onboarding, authentication happens repeatedly – each time a user returns to a site, for example, or each time they log out. 

There are different approaches to biometric authentication. iProov uses face biometric authentication because it offers security (you can’t steal a physical face), convenience (you always have your face with you) and inclusivity (everyone has a face and the scanning process doesn’t require a specific biometric sensor – only a user-facing camera on a smartphone or other device). Additionally, most people are very comfortable with taking selfies and using their face to unlock their mobile device.

Vendors of face biometric authentication solutions offer varying levels of assurance that a user is genuine. For instance, some solutions use device-based biometrics, while others opt for the greater security of cloud-based biometrics. Vendors also differ in how accessible and inclusive they are, as some biometric authentication solutions are active, while others make the process easier for the end-user with passive authentication

Biometric authentication can be used to replace passwords and other outdated authentication processes, or it can be used alongside them for additional security. It offers a number of benefits over other online security methods; it can be more secure, more convenient and user-friendly, more inclusive, and accessible for as many users as possible. You can read about the benefits of face biometric authentication here.

When Do You Need Biometric Authentication Online?

  • Unlocking a device, such as your phone
  • Signing into a verified account, such as a bank account
  • Approving a transaction, such as an online payment or bank transfer 
  • Accessing company software applications, online portals or sensitive data, such as medical health data 
  • Resetting credentials and recovering accounts

Learn More About Biometric Authentication

Article: Biometric Authentication vs Biometric Verification – What’s the Difference?

Article: Authentication Methods – What Is the Best Type of Authentication?

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