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Introduction to Biometrics and Network Security

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If you are to use and deploy biometrics, you need to understand where they fit in relative to other types of authentication, and where one authentication method may be better than the another. Paul Reid provides a guide for the successful deployment of biometrics for network security.
This chapter is from the book

This chapter is from the book

Stop! Right now, think of how many passwords and personal identification number (PIN) codes you have to remember. Now, think back to when you started using passwords and PIN codes. How many did you use then compared to now? For most of us, the number of passwords and PIN codes we currently have is somewhere between 5 and 8. For some, that number can be as high as 12 to 15. How often do you forget them? It is very inconvenient to remember those codes. Now, do you have your fingers, eyes, voice, and face with you? The answer hopefully is yes! Have you ever forgotten any of those body parts? Not very likely! What if we could use those body parts instead of passwords and PIN codes to verify who you are? Would that not be more convenient? It also seems logical that it could be a more secure way of authenticating a person.

Biometric technology uses a physical or psychological trait for identification and/or authentication. By using physical traits, the provider of the trait always has them with him or her.

This book is about using those physical traits for providing access to computers and their networks. Biometrics for Network Security is a book dedicated to helping those interested in the use and implementation of biometrics systems for access control to be successful the first time.

This book is based on my own real-world experiences. The methodologies, observations, and suggestions are based on several years of real-world, in-the-field experience. Everything I talk about in this book really happened to me. I did not get the information from a presentation or hear a story secondhand from a friend; I have been in the trenches and have the scars to prove it!

What Makes This Book Different?

As outlined above, it is my real-world experience in delivering biometrics for network security that will differentiate this book from others. You will not find in here the same tired examples used in other books—examples that have been rehashed endlessly as case studies to be learned from. I want to teach you and prepare you for taking on a biometrics project—not only to evaluate the technology and understand it, but to actually get it deployed and thus deliver on the promise that biometrics can deliver.

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