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When do biometrics fail?

by | May 24, 2021 | Firm News

Biometric security used to be something we saw in movies and dismissed as something for the distant future. Biometrics is no longer exclusive to spy movie bunkers; they are in everyday devices like cell phones.

Security features based on unique characteristics seem like they could be both fool-proof and hack-proof. Unfortunately, there are still ways for these systems to fail.

These are some of the times that biosecurity is not the most secure option.

How are biometrics hacked?

When you think of hacking biometrics, you may think of spy movies where people steal a physical finger to get through biometric security. In reality, bypassing biometric security does not require such drastic measures.

There are several methods for getting past biometric security, including:

  • Using a set of master prints that include standard features from all fingerprints
  • Copies of fingerprints
  • Security workarounds

When a thief can get past your biometric security system, you cannot simply change your face or fingerprint, like you would a password. While biometric security can be more challenging to hack than a simple password, it is not uncrackable.

Consider multi-factor authentication

It is unlikely someone could steal your fingerprint. Still, it is more unlikely that someone could steal both pieces of the password puzzle.

Multi-factor authentication (MFA) requires users to enter a password (or submit a biometric scan) and follow up by confirming access through a secondary device, like a cellphone or other token. Although any system can be hacked, MFA systems add an extra layer of security for your staff and your information.