What are the advantages and disadvantages of a fingerprint scanner?
A well established and reliable technology, but still some people have doubts.
In today’s digitally-driven world, safeguarding one’s data and identity is critical. There is a growing demand for dependable and strong security authentication techniques, forcing a rapid movement away from traditional password and PIN-based approaches and towards biometric authentication. The fingerprint scanner is a prime illustration of this technical progress. These scanners use an individual’s fingerprint’s uniqueness to authenticate their identification, proving to be both safe and convenient. However, they are not without limitations. In this article, we will look at the advantages and disadvantages of fingerprint scanners.
Fingerprint Scanner Advantages
The attraction of fingerprint scanners is partly due to their high accuracy rate. They outperform traditional security techniques such as passwords and PINs, with a claimed mistake rate of less than 1%, making them a trustworthy means of user verification. The failure rate will vary between manufacturers and quality of components used. Some are lower as 0.1%
Fingerprint scanners considerably ease the login process as a smooth, time-efficient authentication solution. Users simply need to touch their finger on the scanner for authentication, which takes seconds – a significant improvement over entering passwords or PINs numerous times each day. They don’t need to worry about leaving their badge or fob at home either!
The fingerprint is an unrepeatable, unique characteristic that belongs solely to an individual, making it a strong line of defence against security breaches. Fingerprints, unlike passwords or PINs, cannot be readily copied or guessed, making fingerprint scanners a security firewall.
Designed to withstand the rigours of frequent use, fingerprint scanners are robust. Durability has improved dramatically in the last ten years with high IP ratings meaning they are dust and water ingress resistant. Many also have anti-vandal features built in. This feature qualifies them for use in high-traffic areas where equipment is frequently subjected to wear and tear.
Over time, fingerprint scanners have become increasingly affordable. This cost-effectiveness makes them a viable option not only for large corporations but also for small and medium-sized businesses looking to bolster their security measures.
Disadvantages of Fingerprint Scanners
The Need for Physical Contact
Unlike some other biometric technologies, fingerprint scanners necessitate physical contact. This requirement might be difficult for those who have physical limitations or injuries that limit their ability to use their fingers. There was a move away from fingerprint scanners during the pandemic for this reason, but in the main this reservation is no longer a barrier for customers.
Susceptibility to Spoofing
Despite being a more secure method of authentication, fingerprint scanners are not entirely impervious to breaches. High-quality replicas of an individual’s fingerprints can potentially deceive these scanners. However, such an undertaking is challenging and far less common than other fraudulent practices such as password cracking or phishing. In most situations where an intruder was willing to go to this level of preparation, there would be additional authentication factors implemented as it would be an exceptionally secure environment.
Fingerprint scanners may falter in accurately recognising a user’s fingerprint under certain conditions. Dirty, wet, or damaged fingerprints can cause the scanner to fail, leading to frustration and delays in the authentication process. In certain sectors this has led to the more frequent adoption of different biometric technologies such as face scanners in the construction industry where tradespeople can find that their fingerprints are degraded or suffer frequent cuts.
The use of biometric data and credentials, such as fingerprints, raises concerns about privacy. Some individuals worry about potential misuse of their biometric data, fearing their movements could be tracked or their identity ascertained without their consent. With good quality fingerprint scanners and cyber security, users can be reassured that their data is safe. Can fingerprint data be given to authorities? If a crime has been committed then the police or Garda could request entry and exit reports from a company operating a fingerprint access control system. This would prove that an individual was in a place at a certain time. However, they could not extract the person’s fingerprint to compare with one left at a crime scene from the database as the biometric template is encrypted.
Summary of the advantages and disadvantages of Fingerprint Scanners
Fingerprint scanners effectively provide several advantages over traditional types of authentications. They are an attractive alternative because to their improved accuracy, ease, security, durability, and cost-effectiveness. However, it is critical to recognise their limitations, which include the requirement for physical touch, susceptibility to spoofing, and intermittent dependability difficulties. As technology advances, it is more important to find a balance between convenience and security, as well as to guarantee that users’ privacy rights are respected and maintained.
Or send us an email: [email protected]
If you have more questions about the price, reliability, data security or benefits of fingerprint scanners, visit our comprehensive Fingerprint Scanner FAQs