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Biometrics in Physical Access Control

The role of biometrics in physical access control is to provide security and convenience. Given the new security-conscious climate and the reduction in cost for biometric devices, there is an increasing adoption based on security requirements. Physical access control is one of the most demanding applications of biometrics. As new opportunities for growth in the access control arena emerge, it is important to remember that biometrics is a technology, not an industry. Before applying any technology, it is always important to first identify the problem. Second, define a solution. Third, see how your technology can become part or all of the solution.

What Are Biometrics?

Biometric systems use automated techniques that verify or identify people by their physical characteristics. The dictionary definition of biometrics is "The measurement and analysis of unique physical or behavioral characteristics especially as a means of verifying personal identity." Unique physical features can mean anything from fingerprints and facial features to speech and keystroke patterns. Various technologies are currently available for biometric authentication, here are the big three biometric technologies used most frequently today

  • Fingerprint – This biometric modality was given a big leg up by Apple and other mobile smartphone manufacturers.

  • Facial recognition – There has been a big jump in this technology. Mobile device makers, such as Google's Pixel have adopted the technology while the use of AI and machine learning has made it more reliable.

  • Iris recognition technology – Considered the most accurate of the biometric technologies, iris recognition is non-invasive, non-contact and very fast.

While biometric fingerprint technology is the most widely used many experts believe there will be rapid growth in both facial recognition and iris recognition as costs continue to come down.

There are many other biometric technologies based on physical traits including palm prints, vein patterns and heartbeat recognition. On the behavior side, biometrics can identify people by their voice, gait or key strokes on a keyboard.

Biometrics are used to prevent hacking and data breaches, but in physical security they are being used for access control, authentication and verification. Unlike keys, ID’s, proximity cards and passwords biometrics can’t be stolen or lost making them a valuable tool for physical security. And when you combine physical security benefits with digital security features you get an end-to-end technology that can work throughout the organization giving people secure access to both physical and digital assets.

Initial biometrics systems were standalone and didn’t integrate with existing access control systems. Now the two are a combined force because the core technologies have evolved and the cost of equipments is going down dramatically due to the integration and the increasing processing power. Certain applications of facial recognition technology are now cost effective, reliable and highly accurate. Schools, companies and organizations are installing surveillance with Biometrics Solutions to become proactive against crimes and threats.

If you like the ideas we’ve discussed today, give us a call and we can help you take the appropriate measures to protect your staff, equipment, and customers. Providing you with peace of mind.

Ready to make a change or improve on our existing security measures? Contact HSI Security Today


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