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REVIEW: "Biometrics for Network Security", Paul Reid

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  • Rob, grandpa of Ryan, Trevor, Devon & Ha
    BKBIOMNS.RVW 20040527 Biometrics for Network Security , Paul Reid, 2004, 0-13-101549-4, U$44.99/C$67.99 %A Paul Reid %C One Lake St., Upper Saddle
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 1, 2004
      BKBIOMNS.RVW 20040527

      "Biometrics for Network Security", Paul Reid, 2004, 0-13-101549-4,
      %A Paul Reid
      %C One Lake St., Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458
      %D 2004
      %G 0-13-101549-4
      %I Prentice Hall
      %O U$44.99/C$67.99 +1-201-236-7139 fax: +1-201-236-7131
      %O http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0131015494/robsladesinterne
      %O http://www.amazon.ca/exec/obidos/ASIN/0131015494/robsladesin03-20
      %P 252 p.
      %T "Biometrics for Network Security"

      In the preface, Reid presents biometrics as the cure for all network
      security ills. Given his employment, with a company that sells
      biometric systems, this enthusiasm is understandable, if not totally

      Part one deals with introduction and background. Chapter one is the
      introduction--mostly to the book. The definition of biometrics itself
      is very terse. Authentication technologies are promised in chapter
      two--which starts out by repeating the all-too-common error of
      confusing authentication with identification. Reid then pooh-poohs
      passwords and tokens and praises biometrics as strong authentication,
      without dealing with the fact that a biometric is the ultimate static
      password, or addressing the technologies (and associated error rates)
      needed to make biometrics a viable authentication factor. Privacy is
      confused with intellectual property, access control, and improper
      employee monitoring in chapter three.

      Part two lists biometric technologies. Chapter four is a disorganized
      amalgam of factors generally involved in biometric use and
      applications. Fingerprint features are reviewed in chapter five with
      incomprehensible explanations and unclear illustrations. Attacks
      against fingerprint technologies and systems are raised--but are
      usually dismissed in a fairly cavalier manner. Similar examinations
      are made of face (chapter six), voice (seven), and iris (eight)

      Part three looks at implementing the technologies for network
      applications. Chapter nine compares the four biometrics from part
      two, in general terms, and states measures that are rather at odds
      with other biometric literature. Reid makes a big deal out of simple
      error rate metrics in chapter ten. Most of chapter eleven talks about
      hardening biometric devices and hardware. Unconvincing fictional
      "straw man" case studies and some general project planning topics are
      in chapter twelve, with more of the same in thirteen and fourteen.

      Part five, which is only chapter fifteen, casts a rosy-spectacled look
      at the future when all of security will be made perfect through the
      use of biometrics--essentially returning us to the preface.

      Basically, this appears to be a promotional pamphlet padded out to
      book length: it isn't even as good as Richards' article in the
      "Information Security Management Handbook" (cf. BKINSCMH.RVW). The
      material will not help you with a realistic assessment of what
      biometrics can (and cannot) do, or how to implement it. The
      "Biometrics" text by Woodward, Orlans and Higgins (cf. BKBIOMTC.RVW)
      is far superior.

      copyright Robert M. Slade, 2004 BKBIOMNS.RVW 20040527

      ====================== (quote inserted randomly by Pegasus Mailer)
      rslade@... slade@... rslade@...
      Q. Does Usenet help stamp out ignorance?
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      http://victoria.tc.ca/techrev or http://sun.soci.niu.edu/~rslade
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