Why Your Biometric ID Verification Software Should Be ISO Compliant

You likely don’t admire hackers, fraudsters, and cybercriminals a great deal, but you have to admire their ingenuity.


Modern encryption, virus detection systems, ID verification systems, and ongoing training fight off attacks every day. But given enough time and resources, hackers manage to penetrate every vulnerable system.


In the world of biometric online ID verification and authentication, hackers are particularly ingenious. They have dreamed up entirely new ways of spoofing real people and tricking facial recognition systems, using life-size photographs of faces with the eyes cut out, lifelike silicone masks, and even 3D sculptures to impersonate their victims.


Researchers and software engineers are in a constant race to stay a few paces ahead of the hackers. And the hackers are in a never-ending race to circumvent the latest security methods and protocols. The currency that hackers trade-in is deceit. Their goal is to defeat ID verification and authentication systems by appearing trustworthy.


But trustworthiness goes both ways these days. As hackers increase the sheer volume and level of sophistication of their attacks, vendors are under constant pressure to assure their customers that their biometric ID verification solutions can be trusted.


If you are in the market for a biometric ID verification system, you need to be persuaded that the system will distinguish customers from imposters, employees from fraudsters, and protect your organization from the crushing costs of failure.


In the past, the only assurance you had from vendors that their biometric ID tools were effective and secure was the assurance from the vendors that their internal tests were sufficient. But that level of assurance is no longer adequate. Today, you need a stronger assurance than the word of a vendor. 


You need third-party assurance. And that assurance now comes in the form of ISO compliance. Here are the top reasons for making sure your biometric ID verification software is ISO compliant.


What Does it Mean to Be ISO Compliant?

ISO is shorthand for the International Organization for Standardization, an independent, international, non-governmental organization headquartered in Switzerland and with a membership of 165 national standards bodies. Through its members, the ISO brings together experts to share knowledge and develop voluntary, consensus-based, market-relevant international standards that support innovation and provide solutions to global challenges.


ISO standards are internationally agreed upon by experts. Think of them as a formula that describes the best way of doing something. If a business follows the rules and regulations promulgated by the ISO, it is said to be ISO compliant. Because the ISO does not offer certification, to be recognized as a business that is ISO compliant, a business must undergo and pass an audit conducted by an accreditation firm, which is always an independent firm that has an arms-length relationship with the ISO.


In the biometrics ID verification space, a company that is ISO compliant must be certified for one or more of the ISO standards that govern biometrics. These standards are typically a standard created jointly by the International Organization for Standardization and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), an international standards organization that prepares and publishes international standards for electrical, electronic, and related technologies.


ISO Compliance: Why it’s Important to be Compliant

There are many reasons for making sure that the biometrics ID technology you’re using meets ISO standards. Here are the top three reasons.


Reason 1: Eliminates Spoofing

If you are using facial recognition software to verify the identities of individuals, you face (excuse the pun) the challenge of spoofing. Criminals, disgruntled employees, and other bad actors will try to fool your facial recognition systems by spoofing their victims. 


In the offline world, you spoof an identity by forging a signature. In the online world, you spoof an identity by stealing a username and password. But in the world of biometric facial recognition, you must spoof a person’s face by presenting a likeness of that face to the scanner. Bad actors typically do this with photos, masks, and sculptures. 


Facial recognition systems have two methods to detect these spoofing attempts. One method is active liveness detection, in which the system requires subjects to blink their eyes, move their heads, and in other ways prove that they are live and real.


The second method is passive liveness detection, a process that uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to detect if a face is live or a spoof. Passive liveness detection is just that—passive. It operates in the background without the subject knowing. The subject is not required to do anything.


As you can imagine, a system that verifies that a person is live rather than fake, and that requires the subject to do nothing to prove they are live, must be accurate. ISO certification ensures that passive liveness detection systems are spoof proof. It guarantees that a selfie captured by a user and presented to the system is from a live person, and is not a photo of a person, or a photo of an ID photo, or a mask, or a video. 


Reason 2: Identifies Known Threats

In the financial world, a number of regulations aim to fight financial crimes. The two major pieces of legislation are known in the trade as KYC/AML. KYC stands for Know Your Customer and AML stands for Anti Money Laundering.


Complying with KYC and AML laws is mandatory for banks and other organizations that provide financial services. Institutions that fail to comply with these laws face steep fines and penalties from regulators, as well as damage to their brand reputations and the trust of their customers.


For a biometric ID solution to be ISO compliant, a third-party lab must ascertain that the solution identifies known threats. This includes identifying individuals who are on watch lists, registered sex offenders, politically exposed persons, and individuals who are flagged by the Department of Motor Vehicles.


Reason 3: Ensures Interoperability

Some governments require that your organization analyze more than one type of identification. Mexico, for example, requires both facial recognition and fingerprints. The types of biometric attributes your business needs to analyze depends on your government regulations and your end goals. These biometric attributes include faces, irises, fingerprints, and voices. 


Using a biometric ID tool that is ISO compliant ensures that your system reads identity attributes without error. IDmission, for example, remains one of only five global biometric companies that ensure security, compatibility, and interoperability at such a high standard.


Is Your Security System ISO Compliant?

If your organization is using biometrics to verify the identities of your customers, employees, and supplies, you simply must use a system that is ISO compliant. The only way you can be confident that you are staying one step ahead of the criminals is to use a system that has been tested and certified in a third-party lab to meet the standards established by the International Organization for Standardization and the International Electrotechnical Commission.


Using an ISO-compliant biometric ID verification system ensures that you prevent spoofing, identify the latest known threats, and ensure interoperability.

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