Virtualization and Biometrics Article Review

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Virtualization and Biometrics

As Etzioni asserts the strict definition of biometrics is the science that involves the statistical analysis of biological characteristics. A (slightly) more pragmatic definition is: biometrics n. The application of computational methods to biological features, especially with regard to the study of unique biological characteristics of humans. As with many terms, the computer industry has adopted the word and subtly changed its meaning. Biometrics has thus become synonymous with the verification of peoples' identities using their unique characteristics.

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A biometric is a technological advancement used as a means of proving you are who you claim to be, just like a PIN or a password, but the crucial difference is that the biometric is personal identifyer rather than assigned information or permissions. Some examples include your height; weight; the shape of your hand; the pattern of your voice, veins, retina or iris; your face and, most commonly, the patterns on the surface of the skin of your thumbs or fingers; the fingerprint. Although each of these attributes has certain universal features, each also shows a significant amount of random variation. The application of digital identification as mentionned by Bhargav-Spanzel et al. comprises information specific to an individual or organisation. These identifyers or identity attributes are far superior than mere login name. However their inherent issue is that of conflicting requirements. Their enablement facilitates user access and control while additional security is needed to be estalished as they divulge sensitive information as it pertains to the user.

Article Review on Virtualization and Biometrics Assignment

Increasing security concerns ranging from individual identity theft, corporate security, to even national security represents factors that are important to the biometrics market. Some countries have already rolled out biometric systems at airports and other ports of entry to check flow of illegal immigrants into their respective territories. On the technological front, non-contact systems could emerge as the answer to expel inhibitions exhibited by users. Development of industry-wide standards has been initiated by some industry groups, which would lead to lower costs and enable easier adoption of present and emerging technologies. Government initiatives could emerge as the key to biometrics growth. Although it has been on many organisations' radar screens for some years, there are still a number of organisations which have yet to tackle virtualisation. There are, however, a number of organisations whose hands are already "virtualisation-dirty," with two, three or four years' experience in the bag.

When it comes to the reasons for adopting virtualisation, the overwhelming majority (70%) have done so to achieve better utilisation of their resources, followed closely by flexibility and cost reduction. Discussions with organisations suggest that although cost reduction is important, it is maximising use of resources that has the edge. As innovative as this technology might be one of its major flaws is the inability to deliver reproduceable result. Accoding to another hinderance is the fact that its lack of compatibility with other software. Most importantly the current biometric system as it stands cannot revoke or effect any changes in the case that user personal information has been compromised.

Furthermore, the authors also cites: -- Biometric authentication from an unsupervised location also presents the possibility for sensor spoofing attacks...Older generation biometric capture devices were vulnerable to spoofing attcks, and there is extensive work currently on going to mitigate biometric sensor spoofing -- . (a Bhargav- Spantzel et al.,2007 p. 2), reitarating the possible security risk and breaches of virtualizartion.

Scalability and availability are also important drivers, and there is increasing interest in using virtualisation as a driver to cut power bills and develop green it. In many cases, however, the message is more likely to be "lean" than "green," with cost cutting very much a continued driver of environmental issues within the organisation.

With any major it development, there are always going to be concerns. In the case of virtualisation, these are primarily around performance (49%) and security (40%).

For many organisations, while it is easy to create new "images" through virtualisation, in many cases that may not improve security and there is a strong risk of server "sprawl" which can create a security headache and an opportunity for threats to evolve.

Perhaps the most interesting statistic surrounds the need to manage expectations. With virtualisation being regarded as a panacea for organisations in improving resource utilisation and business flexibility,… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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