ZKTeco dual-modal biometrics: the new trend of biometrics
Biometrics have become a valuable tool for identity verification and access control. However, wide-scale deployment has been hindered due to inherent limitations. The key to addressing these challenges may lie in multi-modal biometric solutions. asmag.com speaks to David Li, CTO for ZKTeco and Richard Chen, Chief of the ZKTeco Central Biometric Research Center about ZKTeco's new BioCV-D dual-modal biometric solution and how multi-modal biometrics is poised to usher in a new trend in the market.
Over the past few years, the heightened need for security increased the importance of biometrics as a crucial tool for identity and access management. Compared to traditional authentication methods like RFID cards, biometrics are less vulnerable to security breaches and are in line with today’s data-driven world. However, the world of biometric authentication continues to evolve as end-user demands change. Users expect more from their systems in terms of accuracy, speed and reliability, and also need to operate in a changing regulatory environment that prioritizes stringent data security and privacy controls.
This is why multi-modal biometric systems, which merge two or more biometric traits (like fingerprint, facial recognition, palm vein, etc.), have emerged as an innovative solution that can deal with these challenges.
“Multi-modal biometric solutions overcome the shortcomings of a unimodal biometric system by providing users with a variety of active verification methods that can ensure higher levels of security, data protection and standards,” said David Li, CTO for ZKTeco. “This is ZKTeco’s core expertise. Our biometric solution is the only one in the industry that can run multi-modal hybrid feature recognition technology on a single chip.”
Leveraging its technical expertise, ZKTeco has adapted this technology into the BioCV-D dual-modal biometric solution. “ZKTeco BioCV-D is the industry’s first low-latency and low-code supercomputer technology which combines pattern recognition with deep learning algorithms. This presents enterprises with a new, advanced dual-modal biometric solution that can be readily adapted to various user needs and requirements across the globe,” said David Li.
The innovation in ZKTeco’s multi-modal biometric system is not limited to biometric identification alone. The BioCV-D dual-modal recognition solution is the first one of its kind that can be deployed on the edge due to low processing requirements, offering the industry three distinct advantages. “First, it can be readily deployed on edge and end devices and is not limited by the quality and stability of the network. Secondly, the technology does not require high-end processors – reducing costs, power consumption and high-end chip requirements. Lastly, malicious attacks and data leakage are minimized since there is less transmission and centralized storage of sensitive information,” said Richard Chen, Chief of the ZKTeco Central Biometric Research Center.
Dual-modal biometrics: Enhanced accuracy and speed
Biometrics is one of the most secure ways to control access, but accuracy is highly dependent on the nature and quality of data collected. Many biometric traits can now be easily faked or forged, making unimodal biometric systems vulnerable to spoofing attacks.
ZKTeco’s patented BioCV-D dual-modal biometric technology overcomes this by capturing two unique biometric traits – facial recognition, fingerprint, palm veins, etc. in one complete solution, gaining more data points that help ensure uniqueness for a higher degree of accuracy.
This becomes ideal in large-scale situations such as crowds, places with high foot traffic or frequent use, where high levels of errors would render the system ineffective and impractical. If one modality is unavailable or unacceptable, the system can quickly switch to another. “BioCV-D collects data from two biometric modalities simultaneously. For face and fingerprint access control systems, if face identification fails, the person’s fingerprints can be used instead. Alternatively, we have readers that can collect finger vein and fingerprint data,” said Richard Chen.
Multi-modal biometric systems are also able to maintain reference thresholds for better accuracy and robustness. Better results are obtained from each individual modality and the traits are fused to increase overall recognition accuracy. “The BioCV-D dual-biometric solution uses different levels of biometrics fusion for authentication. This not only increases system reliability and accuracy, but customers have the flexibility to tailor their solutions to be more secure (stricter threshold) or more convenient depending on their requirements,” added Richard Chen.
According to Li, the BioCV-D dual-modal solution can also address a common issue with image-based biometrics like facial recognition where lighting, orientation angles or expressions can lead to increased false rejection or acceptance rates.
The BioCV-D solution combined full-color face recognition with near-infrared algorithms to form a unique multi-sensor biometric solution. “The BioCV-D solution has a built-in binocular camera. One is a full-color starlight camera with a high dynamic range sensor and powerful image processing algorithms. The other near-infrared camera captures images in low light, offering strong support in challenging environments ranging from 50,000 lux down to 0.01 lux,” said David Li.
Biometric identification and enrollment are further strengthened with BioCV-D’s two-level multiple face detection algorithms. The dual-modal biometric technology with its 2D/3D face recognition technology, mask detection, multi-face tracking, and liveliness detection features makes the system difficult to “spoof” with pictures or clones.
Built for the strictest security and privacy standards
A major concern for biometric systems is data protection and privacy. The risks associated with a breach of biometric data are greater compared to other types of data attacks. Many organizations and governments see this type of data as more sensitive compared to other types since leaked biometric data can be exploited to access other systems as well. Companies storing biometric data of their employees are also required to abide by ever-growing compliance demands to make sure the data is protected.
With this in mind, ZKTeco designed BioCV-D technology to meet high personal privacy protection standards with its irreversible biometric template and compliance requirements implemented at both the algorithm and system level.
First off, all information and data on ZKTeco devices are encrypted. The BioCV-D dual-modal biometric solution is further protected by an irreversible biometric template which makes it technically impossible for anyone to reverse-engineer the original biometric template and gain access to the images even if the user key is exposed. According to Chen, this makes BioCV-D more secure than most solutions in the market that use a random number generator.
On the operational level, users have complete control over how their data is handled and stored – being able to choose or adjust the security settings, functions and modes to include/hide sensitive information such as employee names, IDs and verification methods according to their requirements.
“Personal data and privacy protection have always been a priority for ZKTeco. All our related products come with clear privacy policies. The BioCV-D dual-modal biometric solution (along with the full ZKTeco product portfolio) meets the requirements of local and international data security regulations, including the Data Security Law, Personal Data Protection Act and the EU GDPR,” said Richard Chen.
“ZKTeco achieved full certification to ISO27701:2019 and ISO27001:2013 standards in December 2021. Both our hardware and GDPR-compliant software are secured with AES/TLS/RSA encryption and OSDP communication protocol,” added David Li.
Moreover, communication between the device and the software runs the HTTPS secure transfer protocol to ensure network security, while the software has security authorization requirements. This design ensures the BioCV-D technology provides customers with high levels of data privacy and security.
ZKTeco multi-modal biometric solution use cases can already be found in major projects across the globe, notably the Eastern Harbor Crossing and Tsing Ma Bridge in Hongkong, the Argentinian metro system, and the 2022 G20 event in Indonesia, as well as adopted by big conglomerates ISS A/S Group (Asia), Samsung Group (Korea) and Tata Group (India).