The biometric route to improved access control

The choice of what technology to use in order to bolster access control in business warrants serious consideration, especially given the undeniable track record of application of password protection and the increasing interest in biometric technology
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Liam Terblanche
Chief Information Officer

• Biometrics

Sept. 9, 2010 - PRLog -- This is the view of Liam Terblanche, Chief Information Officer at Accsys, a national supplier of payroll, HR, time & attendance and access control solutions.    Accsys is a supplier of service and expertise to support the installation of biometric fingerprint identification systems at clients, including the integration of fingerprint readers and biometric clocks.
According to Terblanche the fact that passwords have been around for so long is quite understandable.

“The principle of using passwords to control access has been with us for eons.  As with any evolutionary process, the ‘good’ stays while the ‘bad’ is replaced by something better. Anyone with a reasonable level of intelligence (or a password bank) has the ability to remember words, be it names, ideas, verbs or passwords.”

Passwords are also inexpensive control mechanisms that do not require technology for storage or retrieval Terblanche continues. “Passwords can be changed when a threat of discovery or fraud is suspected.  And most importantly, a user can minimise the risk of exposure by having different password for different uses,” he adds.

Terblanche believes that biometric technology cannot simply replace passwords in all applications without some serious thought,. “The most important reason why I do not see biometrics replacing all password applications in identity and access management is because of the permanence of biometric characteristics.  If someone can hack a network and discover my password, I can simply change it. But if that same person hacks into data traffic, already an existing technology, and intercepts my fingerprint templates, what then?”

Terblanche says it is important that the market is not influenced by hype and understands the true significance of biometric technology and the real advantages it offers within specific environments and under the right conditions to address key requirements, including access control.

““Biometric solutions require technology and infrastructure to store and retrieve your biological identity traits (fingerprints, iris profiles, voice templates, etc.).  The absence of a universal biometric modality (one biometric technology that can be used by everyone) means that standardisation is still a long way off.  Some people simply do not have fingerprints.  Glaucoma and other eye defects and diseases make the use of iris scans non-universal.  Facial occlusions, including wearing a Hijāb or Niqāb have been shown to impede the success of face recognition, for example,” he adds.

“We are still a few years away from centralising one shared platform that will replace the use of passwords in a global environment.”

Terblanche also says biometrics is being constantly developed and is now being used in a number of creative ways, most notably to control access to companies and to address issues such as ‘buddy clocking’, the fraudulent practices of time theft and impact on resources within the HR environment.

“Mounting evidence suggest that more decision makers are seeing biometric-based technology  as a credible, cost effective and more secure access control infrastructure,” he says.

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Source:Microzone PR
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Tags:Biometrics, Liam Terblanche, Chief Information Officer, Accsys, National, Supplier, Payroll, hr, Time
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