15 Reasons Why you should implement Biometric Authentication on a Linux Server
Here are 15 reasons why you should consider implementing your Biometrics Back-end on a Linux Biometric Server. You can use any Operating System you want for your Biometrics Server but these are the advantages of a Linux Biometric Server.
- Fast Web Server Application Speeds
- Fast Database Speeds for CRUD SQL operations
- Database Security
- Web Server Security
- Software Application Security
- Files Security
- Network Security
- No Viruses
- No Malware
- Remove GUI and boot only to Terminal
- Reduced Crashes and NO Reboots Required
- Reduced Frequent Updates and System Maintenance Operations
- Boost Confidence of your Client and End Users
- Fast Web Server
Ever run the WAMPP stack on Windows and the LAMPP stack on Linux?
Which is Faster, a LAMPP or a WAMPP stack?
There is a reason why organizations like Facebook, Google, Quora and other leading online services companies run their back-end on Linux.
Speed is one important factor when you have a Web Application that is servicing millions of Web Requests online. To leverage on this, stability, scalability, Load balancing and speed is paramount. These 4 items can only be provided all together by a Linux platform.
To get the best out of your Web Server like Apache or Nginx or Apache Tomcat for your Web Biometric Server, it is recommended to have your Web Server on Linux.
But before then, you can do a little test on your own to determine whether to deploy your Web Server on either Windows or Linux. First, Get around 100, 000 Fingerprint Templates in a Windows Server as well as in a Linux Server then perform Biometric Authentication for one person in both Servers. It will be evident that the Speeds on the Linux LAMPP Server are much higher than in a Windows WAMPP server.
2. Fast Database for CRUD SQL Operations
The Database in a Linux Server is much faster than in Windows.
Big companies and organizations are already cognizant of the overheads in Windows File Systems ( like NTFS) which makes retrieving and writing to it to be much slower than Linux File Systems (Reisers, Ext4, Ext3, Journal). This ultimately affects the speed with which a simple CRUD SQL query operation will take to complete a single Atomic transaction in a Database in a Linux or Windows Server.
A Linux Server with the same hardware resources as a Windows Server will perform much faster than a Windows Server for SQL operations. Did you know that Microsoft’s SQL 2016 Server also runs on Linux these days? As from MSSQL 2016 Microsoft let’s their clients choose if they want to run their MSSQL on Linux. This is so as to take advantage of the stability, scalability, Load balancing and speed offered by Linux servers.
Similarly, your Biometrics Server would perform optimally and with higher speeds if deployed on a Linux Biometric Server. Think about it! In fact, should you have an ASP.NET Web Biometric Application, you should take advantage of MSSQL 2016 and above which run on Linux to implement a Linux Biometric Authentication Server for your ASP.NET Web Application and enjoy the Blitz speeds.
3. Files Security
Linux gives you an added feature to granulize the level of Files Security properties.
Everything on a Linux Operating System is considered as a File including the Devices connected to the Linux Server. This also implies that if you choose to save Biometric Fingerprint Data images from Biometric Enrolled person they will also be saved as Files.
Since in Linux you can grant File permissions to a group or individual user accounts, you can decide the level to which a group or individual user account can Read, Write, and Execute a file.
Even if the Biometric Authentication Software application that runs on your Linux Biometric Server is executable, you can remove the execute permission from a group of users or to particular user accounts. This gives you control to establish who can run Biometric Authentication on your Linux Biometric Server.
To further make good use of Files Security properties of Linux, you can also encrypt the File System with all Biometric Data Files such that should thieves or an espionage operation target your Biometric Data Hard Disk containers, they would not be able to decrypt back the contents of a stolen Hard Disk’s Biometric Data.
The Encrypted Data would be meaningless to the bad guys. They would not be able to get back the encrypted Biometric Data in a format they can use it against you. It would be useless to them. This is an added security feature that should be the more reason why you choose to implement a Linux Biometric Server for your Biometric Authentication back-end.
4. Database Security
To ensure your Biometrics Database is water tight secure, it is best to install and Deploy it on a Linux Biometric Server.
There are very few Viruses, Malware or Trojan Horses on Linux. Even if they found their way into your Linux Biometric Server, they would have to have permission from you to run and even thus, they would not even run because there would be nothing to activate them. The chances of getting your Biometric Database getting messed up by external malevolent applications is close to nil. It would have to be a collaborated internal affair that you would get wind off sooner than later.
Levels of Access Control to a Linux Server are more monitored and precisely captured in the audit trails and same case would apply to any operations carried out on your Linux Biometric Server Database.
Your Biometric Data would be more secure on a Linux Server where you have control over what transpires in your Linux Box.
5. Web Server Security
Running your Web Server like (Apache, Nginx or Apache Tomcat) on Linux is very secure. The Web Server will run on its own path where other user accounts without permission to access its files cannot access it.
For instance, if your Web Biometric Authentication PHP project files run on a path like e.g. /var/www/webbiometricapp you could remove permissions from other users in the Linux Biometric Server from Reading, Writing or Executing any files in this path. This would provide more security in your Web Biometric Authentication Web Server Folders and Files.
6. Software Application Security
In the same way that your Linux Biometric Server is able to securely run its Web Server, the Biometric Software Application (e.g. PHP Web Biometric Software Application) that is served by the Linux Web Server will also inherit the Parent folder Permission properties and will be protected from Access and Execution by User groups and User accounts with no Permissions to Execute and Run it.
7. Network Security
You can configure your Network configurations further on Linux than you would on Windows.
In a Linux Biometric Authentication Server even without a Network Router, you can implement Secure Networking Configurations that can make your Linux Box behave like a Network Router on the Network. You can even partition your Network so that only a particular subnet is able to access Biometric Data for purposes of Biometric Authentication or Biometric Data archiving. This would help prevent unwanted access to your Biometric Data in your Linux Biometric Server.
You can do IP Natting and Port Forwarding in your Linux Biometric Server so that e.g. if your MySQL Database service runs on port 3306 you can assign it to another port like e.g. 99999950. No one would be able to listen to your MySQL service on port 3306 (default port) because you are already port forwarding all traffic on 3306 to 99999950 which is only known to you. The Linux Server would report back to the attacker / application targeting default port that there is no service running on that port. An added security measure.
You can also configure IP masquerading on you Linux Server so that it acts as a gateway for another inside Linux Biometric Server which is not visible to the outside network. An added security measure to protect and secure your Biometric Data and Biometric processes.
The Firewall and SeLinux in Linux gives you a variety of options to configure your Biometrics Server Box for security.
Different versions of Linux will come with different varieties of Firewalls but they are all better equipped to secure and prevent external attacks to your Biometrics Server.
It is even possible to determine which IP addresses that can be allowed to connect to your Web Biometric Server so that traffic that is not required is prevented from gaining access into your Linux Biometric Server.
This way, your Biometric Authentication server will be very Secure and Safe from External Attacks and theft of Biometric Data.
9. No Viruses
On Linux you will hardly find yourself in a scenario where you have to quickly install the latest Antivirus update because a Virus has been detected on your Linux Biometric Server.
Viruses are mostly designed for Microsoft Windows desktops.
Your Biometric Authentication Server is more Secure, Safe and FREE from Viruses if implemented on a Linux Server.
10. No Malware
Malware is covertly sneaked into a computer system by software utilities purporting to be a safe applications that do not do engage in harmful activities.
This prank can be easily pulled on you on a Windows Computer and the Malware remains resident on your Windows platform doing whatever it wants.
On Linux, if a Malware were to work on a Linux Box it would require you to assign it execute rights. On Linux, nothing runs without your consent. You grant rights to anything you want to run on Linux. You do not have to be afraid that the Malware registered itself on the Registry as a Safe application because on Linux it is Safe and Secure to run whatever application and besides, you will even know what resources an application intends to access before you run it.
Your Biometric Authentication is Safe and Secured from Malware if you choose to run your Biometrics Authentication from a Linux Biometric Server.
11. Remove GUI and Boot only to Terminal
By the way, did you know that you could make your Linux Box to boot only to terminal ( init level 2 ) and display no GUI? This is not possible on Windows.
The beauty of this is that you make it hard for messy and nosy individuals to maneuver around your Linux Box because your average person may struggle to some extend to get their way around a Black and White screen to make any significantly harmful changes or your Linux Biometric Server.
Running your Linux Biometric Authentication Server in Terminal mode ( Bash Shell prompt ) only, deters aggression from petty individuals who may find their way inside your Linux Biometric Server.
Though this does not prevent a determined hacker, it is one of those lines of defense you could consider using in your Linux server. Make your Server only boot into CMD ( Command Prompt only).
This could serve you well in a scenario like where a random support guy or techie with a gun pointed on their head by an attacker would not be able to extract the data in the Linux Biometric Server quickly like they would in a Windows Server as there is no GUI to make the attack run Quickly. They would struggle to get the right tools to get to extract data required by an attacker and by this time, you will have called the Police or security details will have been alerted and help will be on its way to your rescue before not so long.
12. Reduced Crashes and No Reboots Required
Did you know that your Linux box could run for many days, weeks, months and years without requiring a reboot?
Imagine how many times you have had to reboot a Windows Computer Server to give it a manual reset so that it stops hanging?
Have you noticed those instances where your Windows Server becomes slow over sometime and you find that you have to reboot it to prevent it from crashing on you and destabilizing Business operations?
On Linux, your Biometrics Authentication Server can run for a long long time without requiring a reboot or a restart. You could go for two (2) or even more annual leaves without your Linux Biometric Server ever requiring a reboot or encountering a crash.
By the way, disabling the GUI of your Linux box will even make your Linux box more stable to run for years as there will never be an instance of a crashed desktop utility acting up because the Linux GUI froze or needs refreshing.
No production Server should be unstable, unreliable or prone to frequent break downs.
Choosing to install a Linux Server for your Biometric Authentication Server is choosing Stability and Business continuity for the long term.
There are several variants of Linux that do not require you to fix frequent updates on them for them to be stable.
Linux Operating Systems distributions like CentOS, RedHat, Debian and SLES (SUSE Linux) can run on a Server for years as stable Operating Systems.
Not unless you want to add an update by yourself on your own volition, Linux operating systems will be stable to run your Biometric Authentication Server for years without requiring your intervention whatsoever.
Compare the stability of Linux with a random Windows server which will need Engineers to work over the weekend to install updates, Antivirus updates and carry out maintenance on it to make it usable and ready for the new week.
If you want to make the experience of your Software Developers and DevOps Engineers to be interesting and enjoyable, consider migrating your Server computing platform to Linux. You will ultimately free yourself and team from the many petty and non-trivial things that engage your manpower resources and use that resource elsewhere to increase productivity of your team and turn around time of your deliverables.
Your Biometric Authentication Server will be stable and run without hitches on a Linux Server. You can then concentrate your efforts on improving or providing more value to your users on the Client Side of things like developing more intuitive GUIs for Biometrics Enrollment,
14. Reduced Frequent Updates and System Maintenance Operations
Since most Linux Operating Systems are designed and developed to run for a long without need for updates, you will not find yourself requiring to do a quick update e.g. to your Linux Kernel or File System or to your Firewall or any other components of your Linux System.
In Windows, every now and then you have to check for the latest patches from Microsoft and install them lest your Windows Server Computer becomes another sitting duck at the mercy of the many Hackers and Attackers of your Biometric Data on the internet.
Not unless your Linux Server requires e.g. a Memory upgrade or maybe you need to add a needed PCI card to it, you will not find yourself required to do frequent weekly maintenance operations on your Linux Server Computer.
Running Biometric Authentication on a Linux Server will free you from the need to constantly keep checking whether your Linux Biometric Server is running optimally and if a Software update is slowing down Biometric Authentication speeds.
15. Boost Confidence of Users and Clients
What is a better way to improve the confidence of a prospective CEO of a Company you are targeting to bring onboard as a new client when the CEO of that Company asks, “…and what does your Background run on? Windows or Linux?” Then you confidently tell them, “ We are on Linux and our Servers are all running CentOS 7.5” or “We recently upgraded to RedHat and we are having an easy time managing aspects of Security and Data Integrity on Linux now with RedHat Linux”.
Sometimes it is just how you have packaged your wares on the Shelves that draws the attention of your client hopefuls and in this case, mentioning that your back-end runs on Linux makes your prospective clients know that you take matters security, stability, speeds and Client data integrity seriously.
No one wants their Data to be haphazardly managed on an unstable operating system. Hiring DevOps Engineers who are good on issues Linux is going to be a big win for you and that of your clients as you will be able to implement Linux Back-ends that give safety assurance to prospective clients before they entrust you with handling their Biometric Data in your Linux Biometric Authentication Server.
Why Jomutech Systems?
Joseph Mwema, we would like to Establish contact with you so that you can Help us with Biometrics integration in our Project. How do we contact You and what are your terms of Engagement?
Learn more about what I do and what my asking rates are for those interested in engaging my expertise in developing and implementing identity access management solutions in their Software based Projects using Biometrics from here About Section of Joseph Mwema’s Vlog
Check out this PHP Web Biometric Smart Card Integration if interested in Learning about Web Biometric Authentication on Smart Cards.