Biometric authentication solutions grant or deny users access to corporate systems and data based on whether or not the user can prove they are who they say they are. To verify users’ identities, biometric authentication solutions analyze users’ live biological characteristics, such as their fingerprints, facial structure, or typing patterns, and compare it to a record that the authentication provider has stored in a secure database. If the user’s live biometrics match the data on record, the user is granted access.
Biometric authentication is arguably one of the most secure methods of user authentication due to the simple fact that it’s much harder to steal a user’s fingerprint, for example, than it is to steal or crack their password. As such, biometric authentication solutions are becoming increasingly popular as both a primary authentication method, and as part of a multi-factor authentication (MFA) process.
There are two main types of biometric authentication solution: those based on physiological biometrics, and those based on behavioral biometrics. Physiological biometrics are based on a user’s physical features, such as their facial structure, iris and retina patterns, or fingerprints. Behavioral biometrics focus on a user’s behavioral characteristics, such as their typing pattern, gait, or mouse tractions.
In this guide, we’ll explore the best biometric authentication solutions for businesses—including physiological and behavioral biometrics products. We’ll give you some background information on the provider and the key features of each solution, as well as who they’re best suited for, so you can be certain you’re choosing the best protection for your organization.
BehavioSec, a LexisNexis company, is a behavioral biometrics and continuous authentication provider known for its powerful fraud detection platform. Specializing in behavioral biometrics, its multimodal solution verifies users based on their habits and patterns of behavior, and can be leveraged as an additional factor in an MFA process or to continuously authenticate users throughout the lifecycle of their engagement with a particular platform. This enables organizations to implement both risk-based authentication and a Zero Trust approach.
BehavioSec’s solution works silently in the background, authenticating users passively and frictionlessly, yet with a high degree of accuracy. Once deployed, the solution uses machine learning to analyze user interactions—such as the way they type, interact with their smartphones, or move their mouses—alongside various contextual factors to compare them with past behaviors and determine a “risk score” based on how well they match. Admins can also analyze authentication activity and analytics, as well as user risk scores via an easy-to-use dashboard.
BehavioSec’s biometric authentication solution works across all devices and platforms and is scalable, easy to integrate, and can be deployed on-premises or in the cloud. Users rate the platform as high quality, innovative, simple to integrate, and effective at reducing false positives. We recommend BehavioSec for large enterprises—particularly in banking, e-commerce, and finance—that are looking for a passive, frictionless solution to provide high levels of protection against fraud.
BIO-key is an established identity and access management provider with expertise in biometric authentication as well as biometric hardware technologies, such as fingerprint scanners. In 2020, BIO-key’s acquisition of PistolStar brought PortalGuard into its portfolio, an access management platform that provides seamless single sign-on and flexible MFA authentication. The platform enables users to authenticate their identities in various ways, including using BIO-key’s trusted passwordless biometric authentication capabilities.
Using PortalGuard, users can log on password-free by replacing passwords with biometric scans, or alternatively leverage biometrics as part of an MFA process. To complement this platform, BIO-key’s recently-launched mobile app MobileAuth uses PalmPositive technology to verify user identity. To authenticate using this technology, users must scan the palms of their hands using their device’s camera. The app then analyzes the scan on the server rather than on the device, and grants the user access if the scan matches their pre-enrolled biometric template. For admins, the platform also comes with a central dashboard from which they can configure access policies, view real-time activity reports, and more.
Users praise PortalGuard for its smooth implementation, easy two-factor authentication capabilities, and flexibility when integrating with various systems. The platform also integrates with a number of trusted identity and access providers, including Duo, Microsoft Authenticator, Yubico, Authy, and more. We recommend BIO-key’s PortalGuard for organizations in the finance, government, healthcare, and commercial industries that are looking for an established vendor to provide seamless, password-free SSO and MFA capabilities using biometric authentication.
iProov is a biometric authentication provider that specializes in face and palm verification to authenticate users and prevent spoofing. Its Face Verifier and Palm Verifier solutions are built using patented Genuine Presence Assurance technology, which determines whether a user attempting to log in is the right person, a real person, and is authenticating in real-time. Both solutions can also be used as primary authentication, as part of an MFA process, or as step-up authentication.
iProov’s biometric solutions use deep-learning technologies as well as built-in replay-attack and spoof prevention to provide the highest level of security and accuracy during authentication attempts. To authenticate via Face Verifier or Palm Verifier, users must present their faces or palms to their front-facing camera. The technology then compares this authentication attempt to that user’s pre-enrolled biometric template, granting access only if it matches. iProov’s iPortal also provides security teams a centralized reporting area where they can monitor and manage user administration, provisioning, integrations, and more.
The Face Verifier and Palm Verifier solutions are cloud-based and can be used across all devices that have front-facing cameras—making them incredibly scalable and flexible across a range of use cases. Integrating the solutions with existing technologies is also simple, with many organizations finding their integration processes quick and easy to complete. Trusted by public sector organizations, governments, and banks to securely and accurately verify user identity, we recommend iProov’s advanced biometric authentication solutions for large enterprises that need a high level of assurance that users accessing their systems are authorized to do so.
Prove is an innovative identity and access management provider that specializes in verifying user identities using just their smartphones. Previously focusing exclusively on authenticating users by connecting to their device’s mobile network, Prove’s 2021 acquisition of UnifyID brought behavioral biometric authentication into its solution. Its newly launched behavioral biometric mobile SDKs GaitAuth and MotionAuth can now be used alongside its phone-centric technology to provide a more seamless and secure login process for users.
Prove’s biometric solutions work silently in the background, passively and continuously authenticating users without the need for them to interact with their devices when authenticating. GaitAuth works by identifying users based on the unique way that they walk, while MotionAuth verifies users based on their motions and behaviors, such as how they interact with devices, their habits, and other contextual factors. Combining phone-centric ID with behavioral biometrics enables users to prove that they are in possession of the device at that time, are associated with the phone number registered to the device, and have had that phone number for a significant length of time.
Prove is rated highly by users as a sophisticated, reliable product that’s easy to set up and provides a smooth, frictionless experience for users. Prove is a particularly popular vendor for financial services organizations, with a client base of more than 500 banks. We recommend Prove for large enterprises in industries such as financial services, healthcare, insurance, and e-commerce that are looking for a passive, frictionless, and secure way of verifying user identity using just a smartphone.
Launched in 2016, TypingDNA is a behavioral biometric authentication vendor that specializes in verifying users based on the way that they type. Its solutions work by leveraging data engineering and deep learning algorithms to analyze typing behaviors and patterns to recognize and verify users in seconds. Using this technology, TypingDNA offers a two-factor authentication product, Verify 2FA, as well as a continuous authentication solution, ActiveLock.
To initially register to use TypingDNA’s products, users need only to provide one typing sample. From this sample, the system analyzes their typing behaviors and can then use this data to recognize them during future authentication attempts. Verify 2FA works by asking users to type only four words into the system to verify their identities. If their typing pattern matches their profile, they’re granted access in seconds. If it doesn’t, but the user happens to be genuine, they can access their account via an SMS-based one-time passcode. ActiveLock, on the other hand, works in the background, monitoring typing behavior as users go about their day and continuously authenticating them. If it detects a typing pattern that doesn’t match the user that registered, it can automatically lock the device or trigger a silent alert.
TypingDNA’s biometric authentication solutions work across all keyboards and devices, and are easy to roll out to users. Verify 2FA also integrates with identity and access providers such as Okta, Keycloak, and Active Directory. Users find TypingDNA’s solutions powerful, responsive, easy to use, and frictionless. We recommend Verify 2FA and ActiveLock for businesses across all industries—especially finance, education, and retail—that are looking for a seamless solution that can not only verify the right users, but also identify when the wrong ones use a device they aren’t authorized to use.
Jointly founded by BBVA and Das-Nano in 2017, Veridas is a biometric authentication vendor that develops face and voice recognition software for businesses globally. Veridas Voice Biometrics is its voice recognition solution, which is based on its das-Peak speaker verification engine and can authenticate user identity using less than three seconds of audio.
Users can sign up for the service using just a three-second voice recording. From this, the das-Peak engine uses AI to measure the unique physical characteristics in their voices, such as accent and speed. The system then creates a biometric “vector”, which is a mathematical descriptor of that user’s characteristics and can be used to compare future authentication attempts with. Because the engine only measures characteristics, it doesn’t take into account the context of their words, so users can say anything they want—and, in any language—to verify their identities. The system can also detect hacking attempts that use pre-recorded voices and easily thwart replay attacks.
Veridas Voice Biometrics is an easy-to-use cloud-based solution that claims a 99.5% accuracy for its voice recognition technology. Users praise the product for its accuracy, high-quality user experience, flexibility for multiple use cases, and high levels of support when needed. We recommend Veridas Voice Biometrics for large enterprises—particularly in telecommunications, banking, and insurance—that are looking for a passive, easy-to-use voice authentication solution that can accurately verify user identity in seconds.
Why Should You Authenticate Your Users?
User login portals are doorways into your organization’s data kingdom, with your users’ credentials acting as the keys. Unfortunately, there are several ways for cybercriminals to steal those keys—they could try to crack them using brute force or manipulate the user into handing them over in a social engineering (phishing) attack. So, just asking users for a password isn’t enough. You need to be able to verify that they are who they say they are, when they say it.
Biometric authentication is widely considered one of the easiest and most secure ways of doing that. It can be implemented as a standalone user authentication method or used as one facet of a multi-factor authentication (MFA) approach. MFA requires users to verify their identities in at least two ways before they’re granted access—for example, by entering their username and password, then scanning their fingerprint or entering a code from an authenticator app.
How Does Biometric Authentication Work?
Biometric authentication solutions work a little differently, depending on which characteristics you’re measuring.
Physiological biometric authentication solutions require both a pre-enrolled biometric template and real-time biometric data for each user. If your organization were to roll out fingerprint biometrics as a method of authentication, for example, each user would have to perform an initial scan of their fingerprint on enrolment. This scan would then become the biometric template to which all future authentication attempts would be compared.
Once enrolled, each user would then scan their fingerprint each time they wanted to log in. If the new scan matches the enrolment record, the user will be granted access. If the two scans don’t match, access will be denied.
Behavioral biometric authentication solutions use machine learning to continuously analyze each user’s behaviors over time. If a user suddenly starts acting differently, access can be revoked or denied. For example, if your organization were to roll out keystoke monitoring as an authentication method, the solution would continuously monitor your users’ keystrokes to learn their normal typing patterns so that it would be able to detect when someone else was typing on a user’s keyboard.
What Are Physiological Biometrics?
Physiological biometrics are a measurement of a user’s physical characteristics. As these biometrics are static, once the solution has created an initial scan, it can compare all future scans to the initial one for reference. Physiological biometrics can include:
- Hand geometry
- Iris composition
- Vein patterns
What Are Behavioral Biometrics?
Behavioral biometrics are a measurement of a user’s movements and actions. These biometrics are constantly evolving as they continuously analyze a user’s data in the background to develop an accurate reference point over time. Behavioral biometrics can include:
- Keystroke rhythm
- Mouse usage
- Speech patterns
What’s The Most Secure Type Of Biometric Authentication?
Biometrics are widely considered one of the most secure forms of user authentication because it’s much harder for a cybercriminal to steal biometric data—such as a fingerprint, iris, or full-face scan—than it is for them to crack a user’s password. But what’s the most secure type of biometrics?
While both physiological and behavioral biometrics are accurate and secure, behavioral biometrics are generally considered slightly stronger. This is because behavioral traits are based on biometric templates that continuously evolve and grow more accurate as time goes on, making them harder to spoof.