Key Questions You Need to Ask About Biometrics-as-a-Service

If you’re a chief security officer (CSO) or an IT security expert who manages employees’ access to systems and networks, or if you’re a developer making new apps that need easy and secure authentication, you’re probably aware of the problems with passwords. In general, they are weak, easy to lose or steal, and make the authentication process harder than it needs to be. Because of this, more and more small business owners are thinking about letting their employees use biometrics like faceprints, finger vein scans, fingerprint scans, or iris scans instead of passwords, PINs, or ID cards.

Up until now, the problem has been that using biometric forms of authentication has usually required advanced technical development and special on-site hardware and equipment. This has kept many organizations from using biometrics. Biometric authentication as a cloud-based SaaS service would make it much easier for people to use, and as a cutting-edge technology related to machine learning, big data, and artificial intelligence, you’d think it would be easy to move to the cloud. But it hasn’t happened yet. Why?

The cloud has a lot to offer the biometrics industry, such as scalable technology, expandable storage, parallel processing, and now that mobile devices are so common, an easy way to access apps and services that use mobile clients.

As more businesses start to use biometrics, many solution providers want to switch to a service-based, on-demand model.

But since the beginning of cloud computing, security has been one of the biggest worries for businesses that are thinking about using the cloud. Enterprises can see the clear benefits, especially in terms of cost, but when they think about security, they are afraid to go all in on the cloud. When biometric data is stored in the cloud, people tend to worry about security, privacy, and compliance.

If you’re thinking about a cloud-based biometrics solution, it’s up to the biometrics provider to show that it meets your needs. You’ll need to ask a lot of questions to make sure this is the case.

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What extra steps are taken to keep biometric information safe?

Even if a biometrics provider is an expert in biometric security, they must also know a lot about the best practices for data in transit that have nothing to do with biometrics. This way, they can make sure that data is secure at every step of a cloud-based transaction.

When biometric data is collected and sent to the cloud to be processed, there are many ways to make it safer.

All biometric data that is being sent should be encrypted. Keep in mind, though, that enterprises should also do their part to protect data in transit, and best practices like using a VPN or SSH keys should always be followed. “Data at rest” encryption should be used whenever biometric data is stored in the cloud. This includes biometric templates that are not stored in databases or moving through networks. There should also be different times when data should be deleted.

What assurances can you give to demonstrate you can deliver on our compliance requirements?

It is important that your biometrics provider understands your unique compliance needs, which can vary from country to country. Think about GDPR in Europe and the “Right to be Forgotten,” which says that a person has the right to have all personally identifiable information (PII) about him or her erased as soon as possible. Also, laws in some countries make it illegal for organizations to store personal information about people outside of the country. Keeping biometric templates in the cloud could make this hard, but stateless APIs have come up with a way to get around this. With stateless APIs, data only stays around for as long as it takes to complete the transaction and is then thrown away. So, the data is in no way subject to the rules for managing PII.

Your cloud nodes are spread out, right?

A distributed system is a computing environment in which different parts are spread across multiple computers (or other computing devices) on a network but can still work together. Biometric templates and other personally identifiable information (PII) about an individual that may be stored at the hosting provider should be clearly separated from biometric templates. In this way, biometric information isn’t linked to anything that could reveal the user’s identity, so attackers wouldn’t be able to use it at all.

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How long will it take to fully put it into place?

A cloud-based biometrics provider should be able to get a business set up with biometric authentication quickly and cheaply. Putting biometrics in the cloud is all about getting rid of obstacles and making a workable solution for small businesses and start-ups that can’t afford the cost and time of more traditional methods.


The traditional way of doing things in the biometrics industry, which has not been cloud-native up until now, is changing. Remember that the idea of cloud-based biometrics may seem strange at first, but the cloud has many advantages over older methods and may finally make biometrics available to everyone. Cloud-based biometrics could be the answer we’ve been looking for. It would allow companies to get rid of old passwords for good and offer the promise of more flexibility and scalability for applications that offer the most convenience – an exciting new frontier to explore.

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