Ultrasonic Technology Takes Fingerprint Security to the Next Level

Mobile devices getting a boost in security with ultrasonic 3D fingerprint scanner.

A new 3D imaging technique of fingerprint scanning, using an ultrasonic sensor, has researchers excited about the prospects of “smartphone security” to another level.

We’ve never been enthusiastic about biometrics. Way back in the early 2000’s one of our “early adopter” Clients inadvertently found themselves in the “innovative phase” of development. They started out proud that they had fingerprint readers on all of their ATM machines. Biometrics seemed to be the solution we’d all be talking about by the middle of the decade. Technology risk managed itself was still in the early adopter phase, so that we didn’t realize the last asset needing what would eventually be called “more robust authentication” would be the ATM, which is one of the few information assets in a bank that has required true multi-factor authentication.

So, when our Client’s pride quickly turned to frustration, as their customers would not be able to use the ATM because of changes in their fingerprint due to humidity, weather, etc., well that’s when we became highly suspicious of using the human body as a means of authentication.

Having said that, we still get quizzed again and again about the prospects and validity of biometrics as a means of authentication. We’ve watched IBM and Apple and many others play with the fingerprint. We’ve seen our own data center install and then remove handprint scanners. (They were really cool but, like fingerprints, the tolerance needs to be lifted so high because of the changing human body that it became a useless control, leading to a false sense of security.)

So in the spirit of “becoming enthusiastic” about biometrics, when we ran across this article, we decided to post it with this warning: Beware a false sense of security.

Fingerprint security technology has received an upgrade through the utilization of ultrasonic sensors. This technology allows a person’s fingerprint to be scanned and compiled into a 3D image instead of the currently used 2D images. The ultrasonic sensor detects the ridges and valleys of a person’s fingerprint as well as the tissues beneath.

Original article by Indo-Asian News Service.
Read the full story here.

The above is what we call an “Article Review.” It is part of our attempt to help our readers find excellent reading materials to back up important technology risk management concepts. We try not to include articles that are merely news or additional news about mainstream issues. Instead, we try to highlight articles that our “typical clients” should be sure to read, or that are about concepts “outside the mainstream media.” infotex does not intend to endorse views represented by the writers of the articles we review, nor do we try to keep our Clients aware of EVERYTHING. For example, if a particular story concept is being reported upon in many different media sources, infotex usually chooses to ignore the story concept altogether, unless we can find a “unique take” on the story concept.


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