Use of Biometrics and Cryptography in Computer Security - Essay Sample

Published: 2022-12-13
Use of Biometrics and Cryptography in Computer Security - Essay Sample
Type of paper:  Term paper
Categories:  Computer science Cyber security
Pages: 6
Wordcount: 1508 words
13 min read


Technology has now been integrated into every aspect of our day to day living, and it is difficult to engage in any form of activity without interacting with a technological interface. Some of the various sectors where technology has been largely embraced include; banking whereby most of the bank data and client information is stored in databases, the health sector, here electronic health records EHR are used to store crucial patient information that is easily accessed and retrieved. The transport sector as well has embraced technology with modern applications such as Lyft and Uber being just among some of the few top transport applications.

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Although technology has been instrumental in the increased efficiency that has been observed in the various areas where it has been integrated, certain shortcomings are associated with this form of advancement. With such vast amounts of sensitive information available out there, it is possible for any individual to access it and some may be with malicious intentions (Chen & Chandran, 2007). The term hacking is a common terminology that is used in the computer world referring to the unauthorized access of data or information on a computer. There are two major categories of hacking, i.e. ethical hacking and unethical hacking. The latter necessitates the implementation of computer security measures that aid in the restriction of access from data or any information by unintended individuals or users.

Computer security can be defined as a form of information technology security system that is aimed at the protection of computer security systems, i.e. hardware and the software components from any form of disruption in their performance that may affect the function ability of these components. As a result of the increased dependency on these computer systems, the field of computer security has grown significantly in the attempt to ensure that there is enough protection from access by unauthorized personnel as well as mitigating any data corruption that would adversely affect the credibility of the information stored within.

There are various ways in which computer security may get breached including; eavesdropping, direct access by unintended individuals, tampering, spoofing, backdoor access among other avenues. Through the understanding and application of computer security measures, it is possible to alleviate these breaches totally, and in case the total eradication is not possible, then the severity of the effects related could be reduced.

Importance of Biometric and Cryptography

The benefits associated with the biometric cryptography and encryption in computer security are innumerable and have significantly contributed towards the achievement of securing user data from any form of unauthorized access. One of the critical advantages of biometric cryptography in the world of computer science is the fact that the technology has primarily helped to curb the issue of identity theft and also regulate data and information access by unwanted personnel. For instance, in banks and other financial institutions, cases of identity theft were a common occurrence which often led to the loss of vast amounts by banks and bankers as well to fraudulent individuals who used to exploit the weaknesses in these systems (Dodis, 2017). The four digits ATMs passcodes were also prone to guessing, and an individual could subsequently access all the information that they required including a client's money. However, the introduction of biometric encryption has seen to it that there has been a gradual reduction of such occurrences. Government institutions are now incorporating biometric identification for identity cards which has also helped curb cases of impersonation and other vices that initially used to affect the public sector negatively.

Another key benefit associated with the biometric encryption is the fact that the biometric characteristics are free from a forgery; thus, there is an increase in the security tightness level (Dodis, 2017). Unless the related user is physically present to authenticate the process, it is virtually impossible to access their credentials. Also, as a result of the high identification accuracy, it is too tricky for impersonators to obtain the stored information.

For most individuals, it is a common occurrence to forget their passwords given the fact that they may have multiple accounts and each account contains a different password. If on forgets their password, they get locked out of the account and are unable to access any information that may have been critical. However, with biometric computer security recognition, not only is the risk of forgetting a password eliminated but also eliminates the necessity to come up with and type in long complex passwords to access your data. Biometric identification has also seen to it that in the event of medical conditions such as amnesia, the afflicted individual is still able to access their information with minimum ease.

Given the fact that mobile money transfer has also taken over in the technologically advancing world, it is necessary to ensure that the transaction process involved is not only authentic but also reliable given that financial matters could be a sensitive issue. Through the advent of biometric cryptography, it has become more secure in dealing with mobile money transactions as well as confidential information sharing given that unauthorized access has been reduced to the minimum.

Biometrics and Cryptography Background

Cryptography has been adopted as one of the safest ways of enhancing information security. Cryptography could be defined as the securing of communication where there is a third party involved to prevent the spread or leaking of this information to unintended individuals. Biometric cryptography also referred to as biometric encryption is a relatively new field in the computer security department that entails technologies that securely bind a digital key to a biometric or generate a digital key from the biometric so that no biometric image or template is stored (Hao, Anderson & Daugman, 2006). It must be computationally difficult to retrieve either the key or the biometric from the stored BE template, which is also called "helper data." The key will be recreated only if the original biometric sample is presented on verification (Hao, Anderson & Daugman, 2006). The output of the BE authentication is either a key (correct or incorrect) or a failure message. The difference between biometric encryption and the conventional methods of encryption is the fact that there is the concept of natural variability that arises as a result of the biometric.

Decentralized biometric cryptography involves the storage of user data and credentials in an offline platform where the data is only retrievable upon the provision of a cryptographic digital key such as an eye retina that gets scanned or a fingerprint. Some common examples of biometric encryption include; windows hello and the iPhone touch. These are all recent advancements that have been continually developed and perfected over time in the attempt to oversee that security is buffered and that user data is stored securely without any access from third parties or any other kind of authenticity breach.

Sensitivity, Specificity, Confusion, General Cost for Biometric

The basic underlying technological standards in biometric encryption are quite simple and follow a preset conditioned command in data and information protection. Comparison between two data sets, i.e. a preset bio-info, and new bio info are the standard procedures in biometric cryptography. The fingerprint scanner which is the most common type of biometric encryption amongst smartphones users applies this kind of two-step verification process (Barni, Droandi, & Lazzeretti, 2015). First, to set-up encryption, the device owner is required to provide a fingerprint which will be used as the standard comparative against any other print that is presented in the attempt to decrypt the encryption.

Fig.1 The operational principles of a biometric system

After the comparative standard has been established, the encryption set-up is completed, and whenever the cryptography is active, the initially provided standard will be required to match the original print to gain access to the stored data. The match requires a similarity of 90% or above to unlock the encryption. This is because it is difficult to obtain a 100% identical biometric owing to natural factors such as sweat or scars.

The Culture of Information Security

The culture of information security is linked to some variable dependencies that may either directly or indirectly influence the effectiveness of the applied computer security measures. For instance, the worker's behavior could have a significant effect on the security systems of an organization and the data safety of the firm's electronic data. Computer technology allows for the sharing of resources such as access to data files, servers, printers among other resources that get utilized in the operational procedures of an organization. As a result of the shared infrastructural components, other materials get shared such as passwords and other encrypted forms of data. However, as a result of the shared password's and user accounts, it is possible for a single individual to leak this information to an external party putting the firm's information and data at higher risk.

The above behavior got identified whereby; the employees do not consider themselves to be part of the information security team. Instead, they think it to be the organization's responsibility to oversee and follow up on the security implementation measures that are aimed at information protection.

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