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Biometrics: The Office of Tomorrow

The importance of security is a hot topic amongst all industries. Everything from computer viruses to encryption can affect the day to day running of any business and have huge consequences.

While consumers are starting to become more security conscious, businesses need to ensure that the physical security of their office or place of work is also protected. Viruses and hackers are becoming more complex and highly educated, simple passwords and 4 digit codes are no longer sufficient.

Whilst companies invest in internet protection and best practices for handling important documents, the physical security of offices is being left within the dark ages.

Despite many offices utilising access control by using keys or electronic card readers, most of these are not ‘smart cards’, meaning that they are not associated with one user and can be picked up by any Tom, Dick or Harry and used to enter the premises.

Keys can be lost or forgotten, and when an employee leaves the company, the best practice would be to change all passcodes, locks and revoke access to all offices and softwares. This solution is expensive, time consuming and impractical.

There are around 655 million cards used for access control. Only 30% of these cards are considered to be ‘smart cards’ and an even smaller amount, 6%, use biometrics, despite it being the most secure form of access control.

Access control visual

What are biometrics?

Biometrics are a form of identification which is traditionally used for security, such as border control and police profiling. However, as passwords and pin numbers become compromised, biometric identification has also started to replace commercial resources such as phone passwords and key fobs at work. 2

There are five primary types of biometrics used within access control:

  • Eyes (iris recognition): this uses identifying features within the iris.
  • Eyes (retina recognition): this uses the patterns of veins at the back of the eye
  • Face recognition: this process analyzes facial features
  • Fingerprint recognitions: this uses the finger pattern
  • Finger geometry recognition: this uses 3D finger image to determine identity

Biometrics and Access Control

Access control defines the way by which resources are protected and kept secure. Biometrics are unique identifiers which ensure positive identification when enabling users to access information or, in when paired with access control, office space.

As biometric technology has advanced and more and more industries invest in its development, the technology has become accessible for consumers to easily use. Users are able to simply place their fingerprint on the scanner and be able to access office space without having to adjust their finger placement multiple times to attain positive identification.

Biometric and Access Control Capabilities

  • Up to date information

User profile with photo, department and contact details

  • Clock-in data

Shift hours and breaks can be easily stored with a clock-in and clock-out function.

  • Restricted access

Access control systems can be set up on a variety of different doorways and entrances, ensuring that access is monitored and restricted for different users.

Access control systems utilising biometrics can be easily integrated with legacy systems to ensure the best use of resources.

Benefits of Biometrics and Access Control

  • Unique

The biometric data is created around unique identifying characteristics and are nearly impossible to forge, providing ideal protection from any hackers or unwanted intruders.

  • Future proof

Biometric data can be removed from the system easily and quickly for data protection in case the user moves on.

  • Cannot be lost or misplaced

The biometric data can’t be lost in a way that a key can be lost, unless in the case of serious incident.

  • Parameters

Digital access systems can ensure that not everyone has 24/7 access unlike traditional keys, preventing access to specific areas or office spaces according to easily adaptable parameters.

Consumer Confidence

The main shift in the acceptance of biometrics, is due to the accelerated movement within the smartphone industry.iphone_biometrics

From 2013 when Apple launched fingerprint recognition to unlock iPhones, consumers have come to accept the use of biometrics for personal use, not just for national security and police work.

There are now over 650 million smartphones which use biometrics, with around 200 models of smartphone that are available.

With this move towards consumer based biometrics, customers are accepting new uses of fingerprint ID like Apple Pay.

Confidence in Companies

Companies can invest in both their business and their staff by utilising biometrics within access control systems.

Even non-smart ID cards such as driving licenses and passports are becoming obsolete, as we turn digital. ‘Dumb cards’ no longer provide truly secure access.

Tablets which are friendly and welcoming with integrated biometric technologies make the system feel accessible and welcoming, and not the intimidating clock in machines of the movies.

Biometric readers are becoming more agile, ensuring that users don’t have to shift their fingerprint around, or dance in front of an iris reader to achieve a positive identification. Biometrics are now a viable and affordable option for companies.

Biometric Access Control and Tablet Kiosks

Glass Wall Mount Secure Tablet Enclosure for Room Booking Solutions

Tablet kiosks are able to integrate a variety of different devices within the enclosure, including biometric fingerprint readers.

Access control is a hot topic within imageHOLDERS, with a large quantity of wall mounted tablet kiosks being used for access control.

By integrating fingerprint scanners, printers and a tablet within a stylish enclosure, companies are able to create a multi-purpose solution which is able to provide high security and also perform as a visitor management kiosk.

The benefits of tablet enclosures ensure that the product is able to do more than simply control access, with the ability to show reminders, schedules or work as a digital sign, quite simply put, the possibilities are endless!

For more information on how to integrate biometrics and access control technologies into your business,  talk to imageHOLDERS today. Call us on +44 (0)1202 892863 (UK) or +1 877 450 2172 (USA) or email [email protected].

This article was written for Kiosk Solutions and is published in the December/January issue. To see the original article click here.