New strides in digital security

Photograph: iStock

Text: Mariano Anthony Davies

Modern cyber security is focused on reducing the risks for powerful security solutions as traditional passwords have long been a point of weakness for security systems. Biometrics aim to overcome this challenge by linking proof-of-identity to our bodies and behavioural patterns.

What is biometrics? Biometrics are biological measurements (or physical characteristics) that can be used to identify individuals. For example, fingerprint mapping, facial recognition and retina scans are all forms of biometric technology, but these are just the most recognized options. Scientists are discovering new unique individual identification features.

Some of this research includes looking at the shape of an ear, the way someone sits and walks, unique body odours, the veins in one’s hands and even facial contortions are other unique identifiers. These traits further define biometrics.

Biometrics security

Data theft is an everyday global challenge that has given biometric identification a growing role in our daily security. Physical characteristics are relatively fixed and individualized — even in the case of twins. Each person’s unique biometric identity can be used to replace or at least to augment password systems for computers, phones, restricted access rooms and buildings.

Once biometric data is obtained and mapped, it is then saved to be matched with future attempts at access. Most of the time, this data is encrypted and stored within the device or on a remote server.

Biometrics scanners are hardware used to capture the biometric for verification of identity. These scans match against the saved database to approve or deny access to the system. In other words, biometric security means your body becomes the “key” to unlock your access.

Biometrics give us two major benefits:

 Convenience of use.

 Difficult to steal or impersonate.

"The global pandemic has also taught us to think alternatively to protect people's health and to stop the spread of Covid-19."

QuardCard - thinking differently The QuardCard system is an alternative to traditional identification methods and can create significant value to enterprises and national systems as it works as a biometric authentication gateway to any system connected to the authentication system via an API or installed directly with the client (such as a ‘National Trusted Authentication Partner’). This means that all your critical systems can be protected by one single system.

The global pandemic has also taught us to think alternatively to protect people’s health and to stop the spread of COVID-19.

For example:

 Who wants to put their hands or fingers on a fingerprint reader that has been touched

by thousands without being sanitized between each individual use?

 Central readers are not only a hacking risk but are also a health risk.

 A more secure solution would be a reader on a card that only you touch.

From a sustainability perspective, it makes sense to introduce the advanced cards as they provide the following benefits:

 They protect against infectious diseases spreading via use of a central fingerprint and

hand readers.

 They lower the environmental footprint as they replace the need for many cards

(“All in One” solution).

 They reduce the cost of cyber-crime due to the unique combination between

User Identification and User Rights.

 They reduce the cost of protecting biometric data that is now only stored in the

“All ion One” card.

 The technology allows for instant issuance of cards through an App solution that is

verified by biometric authentication.

 This technology is vital protection against fraudulent activity, and it makes money

laundering without detection exceedingly difficult.

The future needs to bring the use of a distributed security technology like the QuardCard system by using offline biometric verification, to stop the rising trend of cyber-criminal activities and provide citizens with a more secure physical and digital life.

Today, this is also possible with the end-to-end solution provided by CardLab Innovation (Danish world leader) and its Partners, where extensive tests have shown that Users find the new innovative technology efficient, safe and the secure way to protect your data.

For the sake of cost, some PC manufacturers are starting to use the same fingerprint sensors as the ones found in many smartphones around the world. However, most smartphones are sealed devices with little or no encryption going from the fingerprint sensor to the host controller. While this is a risk on smartphones, the complexity of teardown and difficulty of access makes this a less likely point of attack on a PC, which you can take apart and insert a device between the fingerprint sensor and host controller that is completely invisible to the User or Operating System.