Fingerprint Biometrics Definition

KZero Staff
Jul 27, 2023

What is Fingerprint Biometrics?

Fingerprints have been considered as one of the most secure authentication factors for several decades. Every human being has a fingerprint that is unique.

Fingerprint-based authentication is a form of biometric authentication, which uses unique features of an individual to validate their identity. This differs from knowledge-based authentication mechanisms such as passwords or authentication systems that validate a user’s identity based on their possession of a smartphone, smart card, or other physical device.

Fingerprint biometrics use these unique fingerprints to verify a user’s identity. Fingerprint scanners extract data points from fingerprints and compare them to a stored record to identify a user. In general, this is a more secure and user-friendly alternative to passwords and other forms of user authentication.

How Do Fingerprint Biometrics Work?

Fingerprints are unique, making them an ideal method of user authentication. Tapping a fingertip on a scanner is a much easier method of authenticating a user than forcing them to enter a password into a login page.

Authenticating a user via fingerprint biometrics is a multi-stage process, including the following steps:

  • Enrollment: When the user creates a profile, they scan their fingerprint. The system extracts unique patterns and points on the fingerprint and stores them as part of the user’s record.
  • Authentication: Later, when the user wants to log into the site, they will perform another fingerprint scan. This scan will collect the same collection of patterns as the initial enrollment.
  • Validation: The authentication system compares the collected scan with the one stored as part of the user’s record. If they match, then the user is granted access to the system.

The process of scanning the user’s fingerprint can be performed using a few different types of scanners. Optical scanners take a picture of the fingerprint, capacitive scanners use electrical current to map it, and ultrasonic scanners use sound waves.

Benefits of Fingerprint Biometrics

Fingerprints are increasingly gaining adoption as a means of user identification and authentication. Some of the advantages provided by fingerprint authentication include the following:

  • Security: Fingerprints offer a more secure form of authentication than common alternatives such as passwords. For example, passwords have concerns regarding weak, reused, and breached credentials that are eliminated with fingerprint biometric authentication.
  • Uniqueness: Fingerprints are unique, making them a good choice for authentication. The odds of two people having the same fingerprint are nearly zero.
  • Non-Transferable: Unlike passwords, fingerprints can’t be easily stolen or copied. This provides greater security than knowledge-based authentication credentials.
  • Rapid Authentication: Fingerprint authentication solely requires a user to tap a fingerprint reader. This offers much faster authentication than most alternatives.
  • User-Friendly: FIngerprint scanning is also easy for the user to perform and doesn’t require them to know or enter any secret information. This makes fingerprint biometrics a very user-friendly form of authentication.


Fingerprints are a form of biometric authentication, identifying and authenticating someone based on their unique features. Fingerprints have gained widespread adoption as a method of user authentication because they offer much better security than many alternatives and are also fast and easy for users.

KZero Staff

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