Co-written with Edsel Shreve, General Manager, BioConnect AI

Biometrics has quickly emerged as a game-changer in the physical security space, offering enhanced security and convenience. However, when it comes to mobile devices, there’s a significant distinction between native device biometrics and mobile biometric applications designed specifically for corporate security. This blog post aims to explore these differences, shedding light on their respective benefits and gaps, particularly in the context of enterprise environments.

Understanding Native Device Biometrics

Native device biometrics refer to the built-in biometric authentication systems found in modern smartphones and tablets. These typically include fingerprint scanners, facial recognition, and iris scanners. The primary advantages of native biometrics include:

  • Security: Native biometrics provide a high level of security by leveraging sophisticated algorithms and hardware to authenticate users.
  • Convenience: These systems offer seamless and quick access to personal data and applications, enhancing user experience.
  • Accessibility: Native biometrics are widely available on most modern mobile devices, making them accessible to a broad audience.

Despite these advantages, there are notable gaps when it comes to using native biometrics for corporate security applications.

Gaps in Native Device Biometrics for Corporate Security

  1. Control Over Enrollment: In native biometrics, the control of the biometric enrollment process lies with the individual user. This lack of centralized management poses a significant challenge for corporate security, as the company cannot oversee or manage the enrollment process. In addition, today’s devices still allow multiple face or finger templates and hence identities, to be enrolled on the device at the user’s discretion.

  1. Multi-Factor Authentication Integration: While native biometrics can be integrated into multi-factor authentication (MFA) processes on the users’ devices, they lack the capability to bind the person and their biometric template to the device. This seemingly small gap can undermine the effectiveness and trustworthiness of native mobile biometrics in the most security-conscious organizations in a physical security access use case.

Mobile Biometric Applications for Corporate Security

Mobile biometric applications designed explicitly for corporate security address these gaps, offering enhanced control and security measures. Here are two defining differences:

1. Binding the Person to the Device

  • Once enrolled with a biometric on the mobile biometric application, that user’s template or identity is now bound tightly to the device’s identity. For security and privacy, the user’s biometric is stored on the device alone.
  • No additional biometric identities can then be enrolled on the biometric application without the coordination and approval of the company.
  • When used for secure physical access to a facility or door, we know for certain who entered and with what device to maximize identity certainty.
  • This does not affect the native biometric system and usage on the person’s device for their own purposes.

2. Controlled Enrollment Process

  • The biometric enrollment process is managed by the company rather than the individual. This centralized control is crucial for binding both the person and the phone identity. Any new phone or re-enrollment must be approved and managed by the company, adhering to their security practices.

By addressing these key areas, mobile biometric applications can now become an important solution in the physical security strategy of an organization by allowing the convenience associated with our mobile devices without sacrificing the organization’s high-security standards.

Benefits of Mobile Biometric Applications for Corporate Security

Enhanced Security:

The ability to bind the person’s identity via their biometric template to the device and manage enrollment centrally significantly enhances overall security.

Controlled Access:

Companies can ensure that only authorized personnel have access to sensitive data and applications, thereby reducing the risk of unauthorized access.


Mobile biometric applications designed for corporate use can help organizations meet regulatory requirements and industry standards for data protection and privacy.

Why Mobile Biometrics Take the Trophy

While both native device biometrics and mobile biometric applications provide enhanced security and convenience, the latter is distinctly superior for corporate security applications. Mobile biometric applications offer centralized control over the enrollment process and bind the biometric template to the device identity, significantly boosting security and compliance. This added layer of protection ensures that only authorized personnel can access sensitive data and applications, mitigating the risk of unauthorized access. For organizations aiming to safeguard their data and meet stringent industry standards, mobile biometric applications represent the optimal choice, providing robust security solutions that native biometrics alone cannot match.