Biometric Authentication: Weaknesses and Countermeasures

Biometric Authentication: Weaknesses and Countermeasures


It was perhaps the introduction of Touch ID on smartphones in 2013 that made using biometrics a part of everyday life for instant access to your personal devices. Now, you'll find biometrics replacing passwords and PINs for other items even such as safes.

This is to give an extra layer of protection and accessibility to gain access for your valuables. These fingerprint safes are becoming more and more popular because they offer an easy-to-use, secure, and reliable method of accessing stored items.

In this article, we will discuss ten things you need to know about biometric authentication with a fingerprint safe and why we think The Space Safe is the best of all the biometric safes we've seen.

What Is Biometric Authentication?

Biometric authentication is a method of verifying someone's identity. It uses their unique physical or behavioral characteristics. This authentication method uses technology to capture and analyze your biological or behavioral data to secure your personal contents.

This data includes:

  • Fingerprints
  • Facial recognition
  • Iris scans
  • Voice recognition

The captured data is then compared to the stored data in a database to verify the individual's identity, and as previously described, this technology has been more common over the last decade in many different everyday used products. While some of these biometrics have been used in many products, the only safe we have seen with this level of development and security options is The Space Safe. 

Benefits of Fingerprint Biometric Authentication

Fingerprint biometric authentication verifies an individual's identity. It does so by analyzing and comparing their unique fingerprint patterns with those stored in a database at the time of biometric enrollment. 

One of the primary advantages of fingerprint biometric authentication is its accuracy and how easy it is to use. Fingerprint patterns are unique to each individual. This makes it very difficult for someone to impersonate another person's fingerprint. To give you a better idea on what we mean - since everyone's skin grows in a slightly different way, there is about a 1 in 64 billion chance that anyone has the same fingerprints as you.

This makes fingerprints one of the most reliable forms of biometric authentication.

Another advantage of fingerprint biometric authentication is its convenience. With fingerprint recognition, there is no need to remember PINs or carry around keys. Don't forget your PIN, however, a simple scan of the fingerprint is enough to gain access to a device or system.

Fingerprint biometric authentication is also a fast and efficient method of authentication. It takes a second or two to scan and try to match a fingerprint, making it a quick way to gain access to a system or device - definitely faster than entering a PIN or using a key.

Finally, fingerprint biometric authentication provides another layer of security. One cannot duplicate fingerprints with ease. This makes it difficult for someone to gain unauthorized access to a system or device. Just make sure to get a safe with a good fingerprint sensor like The Space Safe has, this way you won't have to worry about having any false positive fingerprints gaining access to your device.

Biometric Hacking

Biometric hacking refers to the unauthorized access or manipulation of biometric data. Biometric hacking can involve various techniques. Techniques such as stealing, copying, or modifying biometric data.

These difficult techniques can trick biometric authentication systems by impersonating legitimate users. They can also bypass authentication mechanisms or exploit vulnerabilities in biometric authentication systems.

The consequences of biometric hacking can be severe. This is because you cannot change biometric data with ease, unlike passwords or tokens. A compromised biometric system can allow unauthorized access to sensitive information or facilities.

This can result in financial losses, privacy violations, and reputational damage. This is why it's essential to purchase a safe with a great biometric sensor. The Space Safe puts in place strong security measures and uses an FBI approved fingerprint sensor on their safe. Just another reason why we love The Space Safe - it's the only safe that offers remote software updates, they can potentially update authentication protocols often to try and stop or limit biometric hacking.

Countermeasures to Prevent and Mitigate Biometric Attacks

Preventing and mitigating biometric attacks can involve several countermeasures. Here are some examples:

Multi-Factor Authentication

Setting up multi-factor authentication can make it difficult for attackers to bypass the authentication system; which is why you should try combining biometric authentication with a PIN. The Space Safe is the only safe that allows for multi-factor authentication. 


The Space Safe encrypts data transmission and its storage which prevents attackers from stealing biometric data. Furthermore, because the data is stored inside a thick metal box, trying to gain access to the physical data would be very difficult.

Biometric Liveness Detection

Put in place biometric liveness detection. This checks that the authentication biometric data is a live sample - meaning you are using a real finger and not a fake one. Better fingerprint safes would have this feature, while cheaper safes will not.

It checks for static images or recorded videos. This can help prevent spoofing attacks.

Continuous Monitoring

Regular monitoring of authentication logs and biometric data can help detect and prevent attacks. With The Space Safe's instant notifications, easily monitor and check if any attempts are made by users, and being the only safe with live streaming cameras, you can instantly see if it's an authorized user trying to gain access to your device.

Access Control

Force users to activate and use the biometric authentication system and make sure those who should not gain access, will not be able to gain access.

Regular Updates

Having regular software updates - which only The Space Safe offers, ensures authentication systems and protocol updates help address new vulnerabilities and threats. We also recommend updating your fingerprint safe on a regular routine in case anything changes.

Multiple Fingers

In case something ever happens to your preferred enrolled finger, we recommend enrolling at least 1 finger from each hand - better to be safe than sorry, even if it's just a papercut. Aside from The Space Safe, every fingerprint safe available on the market has a really horrible fingerprint management, so choose your safe properly.

Education and Awareness

Educate users about biometric authentication and the importance of protecting biometric data. This can help prevent social engineering attacks and improve security awareness.

What to Know about Fingerprint Safes

Fingerprint safes use biometric authentication in the form of fingerprint recognition. Here are 9 things to consider about the use of a fingerprint safe.

1. Convenience

Fingerprint safes are convenient as they cut the need for keys, combinations, or passwords. Users can access the contents of the safe by placing their finger on the scanner. This makes it an ideal choice for people who need frequent access to the safe.

2. Security

Fingerprint safes offer a high level of security as they use biometric authentication to verify the identity of the user. The unique nature of fingerprints makes it difficult for intruders to gain unauthorized access to the safe.

3. Speed

Fingerprint recognition is fast. Users can access the safe without having to remember a password or combination. This makes it ideal for emergency situations where access to the contents of the safe is critical.

4. Customization

Fingerprint safes can store different types of items. Personal safes store documents, cash, jewelry, and firearms, making them versatile. Business safes store everything you need to keep away from unauthorized users and can be as large as you need.

5. Cost

Fingerprint safes are more expensive than traditional safes. This may be due to the technology used in biometric authentication. Like every other product in the world, the better a product, the more it will cost. If you try to purchase a low priced biometric safe, the odds are the quality of the sensor will not be very trustworthy, which is why we recommend The Space Safe. 

6. Reliability

Fingerprint recognition technology can sometimes be unreliable. This increases if the user's fingers are dirty, wet, or injured. This can result in false negatives, which can be frustrating for a user who cannot gain access to their device with registered fingers.

7. Maintenance

Fingerprint safes need regular maintenance. This includes cleaning the scanner, changing batteries (for some safes), and updating software (only The Space Safe). This ensures the safe and the reader is functioning well. 

8. Vulnerability

Hackers can steal or replicate fingerprint data. This can compromise the security of the safe.

Make sure to choose a fingerprint safe from a reputable manufacturer. Choose one that uses robust security protocols and encryption to protect biometric data like SPACE does.

How to Reset a Biometric Fingerprint Safe

The process may vary depending on the manufacturer and model, and aside from The Space Safe, almost every single safe has a horrible way of resting biometrics.

Most companies will need you to locate the reset button and you will have to delete every single fingerprint ever enrolled in your device. While this sounds great, it's not good if you only want to delete 1 fingerprint. You will most likely need to look on the back or inside of the safe, and press and hold the reset button for a few seconds until the safe beeps or flashes to show that it has entered reset mode. We have tested many safes and found that this always has some kind of issue and you are never aware of what is actually happening. 

After resetting the biometric system, test the new settings and rescan any of your fingerprints and verify that the safe unlocks. As you know from enrollment, this process can take anywhere from 5-20 minutes depending on the amount of fingerprints you attempt to enroll.

This is why we love The Space Safe's intuitive and easy biometric management system. You can visually remove one fingerprint at a time without worrying about deleting every fingerprint in the system.  

Get a Secure Fingerprint Safe

A fingerprint safe can offer a high level of security and convenience for protecting your valuable belongings. But it's crucial to understand the advantages and vulnerabilities of biometric authentication. 

If you're interested in purchasing a smart safe, we recommend The Space Safe as it offers a range of features to meet your needs. Protect your valuables and get a biometric safe from SPACE today!