User authentication via a fingerprint scanner has become a common biometric solution placed the security systems of organizations, as well as on consumer electronic devices such as laptops, smartphones, and tablet computers.
Advantages and Applications of Fingerprint Scanner
Note that biometrics through electronic fingerprint recognition works by scanning and analyzing the patterns of ridges and valleys that comprise a particular fingerprint. Because these patterns are unique to every individual, they have become an ideal means of identification.
The following are the specific pros and applications:
• A fingerprint addresses the inherent factor or the “who you are” element of user authentication because it provides a physical evidence that verifies the identity of the involved person.
• Physical attributes are considerably harder to copy than knowledge factors such as passwords and harder to fake than possession factors such as an identification card or physical access token.
• Biometrics provide more security that cannot be misplaced unlike ID cards and other physical tokens nor forgotten and easily stolen unlike passwords.
• Note that biometrics can provide another layer of security based on the inherent factor of user authentication, thereby complementing other knowledge and possession factors.
• Fingerprint scanners provide a faster and more convenient way of accessing personal consumer electronic devices, logging in to apps or documents, and completing secured online transactions.
Disadvantages and Limitations of Fingerprint Scanner
There are some reservations against the use of a fingerprint scanner as part of a security system because of its limitations. It is important to note that it is not a completely fool-proof biometric solution.
Below are the drawbacks and limitations:
• There are different types of fingerprint readers or technologies behind electric fingerprint recognition with their own pros and cons.
• Optical scanners cannot always distinguish between a picture of a finger and an actual finger itself. Hence, these are less secure and reliable than capacitive and ultrasonic scanners.
• Biometrics does not take into consideration changes in the physical attributes of an individual. The removal of a fingerprint due to dismemberment or surface injury to the skin would result in loss of user access.
• Lost or stolen knowledge and possession factors can be canceled and replaced easily. A user can tell his bank that his credit card has been lost. Stolen or forgotten passwords can be changed through an intuitive process.
• The reliability of a fingerprint scanner depends on its quality as determined by its manufacturer, and the underlying technologies behind its operation.