Biometrics For Your Business – Security And Access Control In The Big Brother EraNicolaas JV Vuuren
If you’re wondering how biometrics can benefit your business, try this: take a walk through your offices. How many brightly coloured sticky notes do you see affixed to computer screens with login, Wi-Fi and other passwords written on them? And how many keys are left dangling in filing cabinet locks? Are you now at all concerned about how easily someone could access untold amounts of highly sensitive or classified information?
Here’s the thing:
We’re human. We have a lot of stuff going on. On top of this, we must remember passwords and login codes for our phones, computers, tablets, internet banking and a countless number of apps – medical aid, insurance, cell phone provider…No wonder we feel the need to write it all down!
But that is exactly what makes biometrics so amazing. Instead of gaining access to a building, computer system or app using what you know and remember, biometric security uses who you are. Identity is confirmed by fingerprint scanners, facial recognition software, embedded chip card readers and iris or retina scanners. Biometrics can be integrated into any company, process or application requiring access control or accurate identification of people. A highly secure and incredibly user-friendly and convenient authentication tool, biometrics can’t be borrowed, stolen or forgotten – and they’re virtually impossible to forge or replicate in any way.
The technology is already widely in use on our mobile phones and tablets, and in SmartGate immigration stations at many international airports. In the next few years, we can expect to see a greater and wider rollout across a far wider range of industries – including yours.
In fact, the global DSC (Digital Security Control) market is set to grow in value from $6.5bn in 2014 to $14.6bn by 2020. You simply can’t afford to get left behind – because a cunning thief or hacker, just like a clever house burglar, always picks the easy targets.
Biometric security for your business is critical, so let’s explore the different ways in which you can leverage this next generation technology:
Fingerprint authentication scanners are currently the most common of all biometric systems. They are frequently found in offices, schools and other educational institutions, hospitals, correctional facilities, airports, mines and military facilities, among others. The benefits of implementing a fingerprint lock or scanning system are many, but the key reasons include:
- Cost savings on issuing employee ID cards – particularly in companies with many employees.
- Easier management of seasonal, contractual and other temporary staff.
- Elimination of the practice of one employee clocking in for another, or letting other employees borrow their access card.
Fingerprint scanners work by translating illuminated images of fingerprints (most commonly thumbprints) into a digital template. The actual fingerprint image itself is never stored. There is a huge variety of scanners available, some simply use traditional matching techniques to align patterns, while other, more sophisticated scanners rely on fringe patterns and ultrasonic characteristics. It’s an incredibly fast and efficient identification system.
Human beings are born with an innate ability to recognise, and distinguish between, different faces. It’s taken computers a little while to catch up! It was only in the mid-1960s that scientists first began working on using computers to recognise faces. Since then, the technology has advanced at a phenomenal rate – to the point where even our phones use it to identify us as the authorised user.
Of course, facial recognition has incredible applications for security – from international airports to retail establishments. In many retail stores, for example, facial recognition software is used to instantly identify known shoplifters as soon as they enter. It also offers great benefits for businesses in general, heightening security and allowing you to keep track of employees’ movements in ways that would make Big Brother jealous!
Smartcard Access Technology
Essentially, a smart card is a plastic card embedded with a computer chip. This chip provides safe storage for sensitive, confidential information, such as account identity. Where smartcards really shine when compared to more traditional, magnetic strip cards is that all required information is stored on the chip itself, and not on a remote database. This results in much faster, more secure transactions.
Smartcards are used with great effect to restrict access to sensitive or highly secure environments. Permitted users have all their information encrypted and stored on the chip, which is then decrypted when scanned by a card reader.
Already in use in various high-security, high-traffic environments globally, touchless biometric scanners capture and match up to four fingerprints simultaneously with just one movement of your hand. This is a huge leap forward from traditional fingerprint scanners, offering effortless scanning without you even having to break your stride. It also negates the problems regular scanners have when fingers are wet or dirty, and there are no latent prints to contend with.
Touchless technology is extremely accurate, user-friendly, safe and fast – without compromising on security.
Protecting our identity and safeguarding the security of our employees and our businesses has become mission critical in our world today. Let Strategic Asset Management Solutions be your design and development partner for biometric security and identity solutions. Talk to us today.