Recently we ran a poll on our Twitter account that asked the question: Are Cloud applications the future of biometrics?. Thank you to those in our community who participated in the poll and retweeted/shared it with others. Here are the final results:
Cloud computing allows you to get on-demand, convenient, ubiquitous network access to shared configurable computing resources such as storage, networks, servers, services, and applications. More and more businesses are moving and integrating their biometric identification management systems to cloud platforms because of the many benefits this brings. These include:
The following is a guest post submitted to M2SYS by Brent Whitfield. He is the CEO of DCG Technical Solutions, Inc.
Biometric security measures — once considered science fiction — have started to invade our lives. A deeper awareness of identity and data theft has fueled the steady rise of biometrics — which can be any type of natural identification of an individual. Many mobile users now use fingerprint identification technology to login or to pay. And to counter data breaches in the healthcare industry, medical companies have started to adopt an array of security systems that use data from a patient’s fingerprint, iris, veins, or face to protect health records.
The Nature of Biometrics
Biometrics is the use of identification traits such as fingerprints, hand geometry or face topology that links a person to his or her confirmed identity. To provide proper authentication, a biometric device has to have the following basic functionality and flow:
- capture of biometric imprint
- extraction of biometric characteristics
- creation and storage of a template
- comparison for authentication
Once we have proper authentication, we can use biometrics for detailed access control — whether it’s for physical locks, digital accounts, enrollment or surveillance.
Due to a scheduling conflict, we had to move this month’s #biometricchat tweet chat with Terry Hartmann from Unisys Corporation back to 03/15/12 at 11 a.m. EST. The topic will be the history of biometrics and cloud computing, where we are now and what the future may hold.
Please see our previous post about the content of the chat and mark off 03/15 at 11 a.m. EST (12 p.m. CST, 9 a.m. PST), and come prepared to the chat with your questions and input on the topic. See you then!
When: March 1, 2012
11:00 am EST, 8:00 am PST, 16:00 pm BST, 17:00 pm (CEST), 23:00 pm (SGT), 0:00 (JST)
Where: tweetchat.com (hashtag #biometricchat)
What: Tweet chat on biometrics and cloud computing
Topics: The exponential growth of biometric data, leveraging the cloud for big data biometrics, applications that can benefit from biometric cloud computing, the burdens of new biometric modalities, the future of biometrics and the cloud
We are pleased to announce that Terry Hartmann from Unisys will be joining us at the March #biometricchat to discuss the past, current and possible future state of biometric cloud computing. The explosion of biometric data records in the last few years has precipitated the need to find efficient ways to store and process identity verification at often real-time speeds for the institutions that rely on this technology for security and other uses. Cloud computing has provided a fortuitous venue to store and process this data, our goal for the chat is to ask Terry some questions about the history of biometrics and the cloud, what advances have been made in the past few years and what we expect to see in the future as petabytes of biometric data mount and more agencies and organizations seek efficiency, speed and continued security for their deployments.
Just in case you are interested in participating but are new to Tweet chats, please read this post which outlines the instructions and procedures. We hope that you will join us for the discussion, and please spread the word among your colleagues and friends.
Do you have any questions that you would like to ask Terry? Please send them to: email@example.com or come prepared with your questions, comments and feedback on Thursday, March the 1st at 11am EST.
Today’s guest post is by Natasha Tasha.
More and more international governments and security-intensive companies are using biometric-enabled identity cards for their employees and professionals. As this technology becomes more widespread, the need to make this technology more mobile, and more accessible is becoming clear. Experts all over the globe are pushing for cloud-based biometrics for greater efficiency and mobility.
With this comes a host of concerns. The main one being security and reliability. With major players in cloud computing making the news with outages and security breaches, critics of cloud computing and biometrics integration have only become more vocal. Still, it’s clear that both large governments and organizations need an efficient way to organize and manage this large amount of data. In fact, it’s also becoming evident that sheer CPU power is no longer enough to manage the petabytes of data that biometrics identity systems require.
The overarching immediate need will be to create large-scale cloud-based applications that could house the massive amounts of biometrics data. One big hurdle comes with migrating these massive databases over to cloud computing applications. But experts are convinced this is not much of a hurdle with the powerful virtualization available through virtual servers and cloud hosting providers.
Additionally, many government agency officials believe that cloud computing applications for biometrics would increase security when it comes to large-scale terrorist watch programs. Cloud biometrics management systems could also provide increased efficiency in social services and criminal watch management. Experts posit that streamlined cloud systems could give government agencies access to an individual’s entire history at a glance. This would dramatically cut down the use and drainage of government resources, as cloud data management systems tend to reduce workloads significantly.
In the private sector, particularly with defense-based corporations, cloud systems would serve a similar function. Since defense companies often work with security-sensitive data, cloud applications could increase efficiency by streamlining efforts to manage data and information connected to security clearance. As would be the case in the government sector, all of this information could be easily accessed in one place so complicated data management processes are seamlessly streamlined.
Government agencies, terrorist watch groups and defense contractors are ready and willing to use this technology. But as with any cloud-based data management system, there is the immediate concern of security. When it comes to defense and government data management, heavy encryption is a key component of any cloud-based data security plan. Still, there are several critics of moving sophisticated biometrics data to the cloud. Many of these critics vocalize concern over whether or not the cloud would increase national security risks with the rise of global and politically charged “hacktivists” who have brought down significant websites, like the Federal Bureau of Investigation, as well as major financial institutions, like Visa, MasterCard, Bank of America, Chase and PayPal.
Cloud computing for biometrics advocates push back on these criticisms with assurance that cloud applications used on the government level have multiple and sophisticated layers of security, which have been developed by cutting edge cloud security specialists all over the globe.
Tasha is writer and blogger, currently exploring cloud computing, virtual servers and other popular tech related trends