March is Enterprise Biometrics Month at FindBiometrics, with in-depth features detailing how biometric technology is helping to transform the modern workplace. Enterprise Biometrics Month kicked off last week with a look at how biometric technology is helping to replace the password for employees seeking access to corporate assets. This week, the focus shifts to physical access control, a matter that has always been of concern to businesses and that can now be addressed more effectively than ever before.
Opening the Door to Biometrics
There are a few traditional approaches to access control in the enterprise. In some highly sensitive scenarios, actual guards are employed to check the credentials of everyone seeking entry to a given facility. More commonly, automated locking systems are deployed that can be unlocked with a key fob or a swipe-based card.
All of these systems can be replaced by biometric systems, with a variety of solutions now available on the market. Whether they’re based on fingerprint authentication, iris scans, or facial recognition, or some combination, biometric systems can reliably and immediately determine whether a given individual is authorized to gain entry to a facility. It’s even possible for particularly large organizations to offer automated and easy access to hundreds of employees with the wave of the hand, as IDEMIA’s sophisticated MorphoWave contactless fingerprint-scanning solutions demonstrate.
On-site and In Your Pocket
For businesses and other organizations, going biometric means reduced costs – not only in those situations that used to require actual guards, but also in the more commonplace setups in which employees no longer need to burden administrators with issues like lost or stolen key fobs. What’s more, in organizations in which access control systems are connected to punch clocks for time and attendance tracking, biometrics can help to eliminate the problem of ‘buddy punching’ and related malfeasance aimed at fraudulently claiming time worked.
Biometric access control systems don’t even need to revolve around hardware installed on-site. Ipsidy, for example, announced last year a selfie-based access control solution developed in collaboration with RemoteLock. Based on facial recognition and Bluetooth proximity detection, the system is designed to let authorized individuals gain access to facilities using just their smartphone, offering both security and convenience to employees.
Beyond Employee Access
This kind of access control can be applied not only to employees, but to visitors as well. With the Ipsidy/RemoteLock solution, organizations can sign up visitors remotely through the biometric app, allowing credentials to be issued and revoked remotely. Another solution from Proxyclick steps up the security of biometric visitor authentication by combining facial recognition with document reading. By scanning the faces of visitors and matching them to their official identity documents, the ‘ID Match’ solution allows organizations to automatically confirm the identities of everyone coming to the premises.
With a growing number of organizations recognizing the advantages of biometric access control and embracing such technologies, it’s clear that this is an important vector of transformation in the enterprise sector. But it isn’t happening in a silo; with the same biometric technologies offering solutions in both digital and physical access, these areas are converging, and industry leaders like BioConnect are starting to offer comprehensive identity management solutions that can address all of an organization’s access needs through one platform. This points to a future that is more secure and effective for businesses, not to mention far more convenient for employees.