The Role of Biometric Technology in Access Control Systems
Unlike codes, PINs, or key fobs that can be hacked or lost, biometric measurements like fingerprints and facial recognition cannot be stolen or faked. This makes them an effective, secure, and convenient way to control access to your business.
Biometrics also reduces the burden on security teams by eliminating the need to issue and manage employee passwords, passcodes, or PINs.
Biometric technology allows for more security than traditional methods. In many cases, this means removing the need for cards or codes. These systems can be used to verify who a person is through the unique characteristics of their physical traits like facial structure, iris pattern, or fingerprints. They can also determine how a person interacts with a system, such as their typing speed or motion patterns.
While traditional access control methods rely on “something you have” (a key, card, or code) or “something you know” (a password or PIN), biometrics provide an extra layer of security through “something you are.” This is because losing, forgetting, or sharing your biometrics is impossible.
For example, in a face recognition system, the image of a person’s face is never stored on the computer but instead transformed into mathematical code. This template is then compared to the actual image of a person trying to gain access to verify identity. This prevents fraudsters from gaining access by using pictures of other people. It is important to note, though, that this extra layer of security does not guarantee safety.
Biometric access control systems can use a variety of identifiers. Some of these are morphological, such as fingerprints, hand geometries, facial shapes, iris or retina scanning, and voice patterns. These characteristics are compared to a database of stored templates to decide whether or not a person should be granted access.
A sensor collects the data for each identifier, converts it into a digital format, and encrypts it into long-term storage. When a user provides credentials to gain entry, the software compares this information with what is stored to authenticate a match.
In high-security environments, the technology may also be combined with other factors to boost security, such as passwords, PIN codes, or smart cards. Regardless of the technology used, it is essential to anticipate employee objections and clearly explain how it is utilized. Otherwise, the advantages of this technology will not be realized. For example, a company that replaced its old hand geometry readers with advanced two-factor biometrics in multiple high-security locations is pleased with its new systems’ speed, performance, and aesthetic design.
It isn’t easy to imagine anyone not using biometrics on a mobile device, whether a facial scan or fingerprint, to access apps or payments. Biometric systems are easy for users to get used to and save them from fumbling around for keys or cards.
Biometric scanners look for features that are unique to a person, such as a face, fingerprints, or the vein pattern in their finger. These can’t be copied or shared like passwords, PIN codes, or ID cards; they’re far more secure than these alternatives.
Another advantage of biometrics is their accuracy; they aren’t prone to errors like passwords or cards. This is large because they don’t rely on a single data point: the scanners capture multiple samples of the person’s feature to build a template, or “lock,” that can be compared against subsequent attempts to gain access. This creates a high level of security that is difficult to beat by hackers, which is why biometrics are becoming so popular for commercial and government use. They also provide efficiency as there is less need to verify people by hand, reducing the time required to enter a facility.
Biometrics are much more efficient than keycards, passwords, and PINs, reducing time spent at security checkpoints. A fingerprint scanner, for example, can confirm a person’s identity in less than a second – compared to the minutes it may take to manually enter a building and verify ID at the door.
The speed and efficiency of biometric systems are also enhanced because they are not susceptible to hacking or spoofing. Fingerprints, iris, facial, and palm vein scanning systems are all highly resistant to spoofing, even when captured on video. This is because these traits are unique and cannot be replicated, unlike access cards or passwords, which can be copied or stolen.
Furthermore, many biometrics systems are trackable, meaning it is blindingly apparent who is accessing a particular area and system. This can help to prevent internal breaches, as people who have accessed sensitive data or areas will be caught immediately. This can be especially important during a pandemic, as it will allow companies to ensure that only authorized employees are on site.
Security measures are integral to any access control system, and biometrics deliver high accuracy and reliability. Biometric systems use a person’s physiological or behavioral characteristics to identify them, making it nearly impossible for unauthorized individuals to impersonate or replicate them. This ensures that only the authorized individual can access a secured area.
These systems also offer a convenient and user-friendly experience, eliminating the need for users to remember or carry access cards or go through a lengthy identification process. Users have to scan or provide a voice command for the system to recognize and authenticate them.
In addition, a biometric system is virtually impossible to break into due to its inherent nature. Criminals can’t change or hack fingerprints, eyes, or faces, and the fact that these technologies are always blindingly evident makes them much more difficult to circumvent than passwords or PINs. Additionally, biometrics are traceable, so security teams know who has accessed a system or area. This helps prevent internal breaches or theft and provides more data integrity.