A significant issue in the ambit of networking and internet relates to the intrinsic lack of security based on traditional user authentication techniques. These options, including password pin numbers and cookies can be breached due to gaps in technology. This has lead to continual research and development for more secure methods, more recently including fingerprint authentication. Essentially, current development of biometric fingerprint technology has addressed the conundrum of verifiably identifying an individual online. One of the application benefits includes integrating fingerprint authentication into intranets.

This has application to intranets, which are secure or private internet networks, accessible to a limited number of users within the network or given special permission. The users can still have access to the broader internet, but outsiders are barred. Given this overview of an intranet one can easily understand the major benefits of integrating fingerprint authentication into intranets. This includes p rotecting the integrity and security of all vital areas of the intranet such as:

  • Payroll applications
  • Timesheets and attendance systems
  • Control panel applications
  • Database management systems

In short the fingerprint biometric authentication system allows a validation check to be incorporated into the relevant web page via embedded objects. These objects call on an interface to a fingerprint reader attached to the client computer. This reader then returns an encoded fingerprint to the server where it is ratified. It is worthwhile to consider the overall authentication process, broken down below, from the users point of view in order to gain a clearer understanding of the functionality and use when integrating fingerprint authentication into intranets.

The Process Of Fingerprint Authentication From The Users Perspective

  • The client will use his or her browser to navigate to the required page on the secured server.
    • Should they not be logged in, they will automatically be redirected to the Login Page.
    • There the user finds an HTML form with fields prompting for the user ID, and an area for the fingerprint display.
    • It is displayed by an Active X control embedded in the page.

2. The client enters the user ID, and subsequently places his finger on the fingerprint reader.

  • An image of the scanned fingerprint is then shown on the login page. This step especially highlights the pivotal step in secure authentication and integrating fingerprint authentication into intranets

3. The individual then submits the login page to the server for biometric authentication of his or her fingerprint.

4. The relevant intranet server will receive the login ID as well as the encoded fingerprint data.

5. The server operating system forwards the user ID and fingerprint data to a server-side authentication application.

6. The biometric authentication application then uplifts the users fingerprint data from the applicable registration database used on the server.

  • This was obtained and stored previously from the fingerprint registration process.
  • It is then contrasted with the scanned fingerprint data from the login page.

7. The success or failure outcome, in the event of a fingerprint login attempt, is passed back to the ASP or active server pages script running on the server operating system.

  • User specific information such as authorisation level or status is also forwarded to the ASP, in this process.

8. Depending on the result the ASP script will either redirect the user to a page that reports the unsuccessful login attempt, or successfully login.

  • It may redirect the individual to the page with applicable functionality in relation to the users correct authorization level as detected by the server.

The above depicts the functionality and use of biometric technology via fingerprint verification in terms of private networks or intranets. The process has been outlined from a users perspective to gain a better understanding of the functionality. The former predicament of unreliable user verification has basically been eradicated, since it relies on the unique identification of ones fingerprint. Of-course development will continue, to enhance the efficiency of the technology and improve it in any way deemed necessary. This is no doubt a breakthrough security measure and proves invaluable, particularly when integrating fingerprint authentication into intranets.