What is meant by “Multi-modal Biometrics” for access control?

Multi-modal Biometrics refers to a technological system that offers more than one biometric option to scan for access. Multi-modal biometric solutions can provide different types of authentication options. Multi-modal biometric systems can require single factor biometrics for access or can require multiple forms of biometrics be used in combination to require multi-factor authentication for access (Stefani. 2016).

What quantifiable advantages and disadvantages can be attributed to multi-modal biometrics?

Multi-modal biometric systems have both advantages and disadvantages. Some advantages include reliability and security. The unique forms required for access can ensure security. Technically, systems can provide scalability for larger organizations or customer bases (Bailey, K. O., Okolica, J. S., & Peterson, G. L. 2014). Data can is specific to users and biometric authentication requires someone to have physical access to hardware. Some disadvantage involve cost and implementation. It can be difficult for organizations to acquire systems because of cost. Implementation and customer adoption can prove to be challenging. There have also been issues with data consistency. Biometric data can be affected by external factors or biological factors of a person providing a data set. Such inconsistency can be unpredictable. Multi-modal biometric systems are still one of the most reliable systems to adopt and implement for access control. Other disadvantages can be that certain devices can be physically stolen. Sensitive biometric data can also be stolen which could affect securing identifiable data of those using biometric systems (Allan. 2008).

References & Further Reading:

Allan, R. (2008). BIOMETRICS LOOKS TO SOLVE IDENTITY CRISIS. Electronic Design, 56(12), 31-35.

Bailey, K. O., Okolica, J. S., & Peterson, G. L. (2014). User identification and authentication using multi-modal behavioral biometrics. Computers & Security, 77. doi:10.1016/j.cose.2014.03.005.

Stefani, E. (2016). A Multi-modal Biometric System for Selective Access Control.