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Biometric authentication is a user identity verification process that involves biological input, or the scanning or analysis of some part of the body.
Biometric authentication methods are used to protect many different kinds of systems - from logical systems facilitated through hardware access points to physical systems protected by physical barriers, such as secure facilities and protected research sites.
Security experts often differentiate biometric authentication from other types of authentication, such as knowledge-based authentication, which involves passwords or other pieces of information unique to a specific user. Another broad-level type is known as "property-based authentication," where authentication relies on a user-held object, such as a key or card.
Biometric authentication is widely known as the most effective type of authentication because it is extremely difficult to transfer biological material or features from one user to another. However, the traditional costs of biometric authentication have made it an impossible option for many projects. New technologies are making biometric authentication more realistically feasible for a range of different implementations.
The most common and evolving types of biometric authentication involve facial scanning. Facial scanning tools now have the ability to identify people and can be used for different types of security and authentication. Fingerprint-based authentication is also common. Some types of biometric authentication focus on particular features, such as eyes, whereas others use more comprehensive body scanning models.