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NASK Biometrics Laboratory Logo NASK Biometrics Laboratory works on biometric authentication methods for access control systems and biometric documents. The researchers focus on methods that involve iris, handwritten signatures, hand geometry, temperature and vein patterns, 2D and 3D face, fingerprints, as well as brain waves (EEG). The research objectives are to match biometric systems with required security levels and to integrate biometrics in proven access control scenarios. The Laboratory maintains a biometric multimodal database used in testing own prototype devices and to evaluate commercial identification systems.

The advantage of biometric characteristics is that, unlike codes and passwords, it is very difficult to be changed. The same advantage, however, involves the risk that biometric data may be stolen; therefore, it must be properly secured. The general public is also concerned with biometric data being stored in central databases. As a result, biometric systems are developed where the biometric sample is compared with a template stored within a secure carrier, for example on a smart card. The Laboratory evaluates the feasibility of such solutions; in particular, technologies that allow storing and verifying biometric templates on smart cards and in specialized microchips. 

In network applications, one of the ways to secure biometric data is to secure each transfer of such information. Biometric data transferred over a network must especially be verified for their authenticity, as forging other people’s identity by using their biometric samples stolen from a network is very dangerous. Preventing such fraud is an area that the Laboratory researches using biocryptography methods and specificity of biometric data.

It is crucial for biometric systems, especially for those operating without direct human assistance, to verify that the measured human physical feature is not forged. Specifically, it is essential to verify that living tissue and not e.g. a plastic copy is being analyzed. Verifying the authenticity, and especially the living functions of the analyzed objects, is a major issue for biometrics today. It is also a major area of research at the Laboratory, especially with regard to iris, hand and finger biometrics.

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