INTERVIEW: Iris ID’s Mohammed Murad on Biometrics, Healthcare and ISC West

INTERVIEW: Iris ID's Mohammed Murad on Biometrics, Healthcare and ISC West

FindBiometrics Managing Editor Peter Counter recently interviewed Mohammed Murad, Vice President, Global Sales, Marketing and Business Development, Iris ID. The conversation begins on the topic of recent milestones: the integration of Iris ID’s technology with the GenKey platform, and its certification from the Bureau of Indian Standards. The conversation goes on to talk about the effect Apple’s Face ID has had on the rising popularity of contactless biometric modalities and how the healthcare market seems to be ready for a wave of biometric adoption.

The interview concludes on the topic of ISC West – the biggest security industry event of the year – where Iris ID will be showcasing its impressive portfolio of enterprise security solutions. Murad also comments on developing trends expected to play a big role at this year’s Vegas show, and previews what’s next for Iris ID.

Iris ID will be exhibiting from booth 24103 at ISC West, which runs April 9-12.

Read the full interview with Mohammed Murad, Vice President, Global Sales, Marketing and Business Development, Iris ID:

Peter Counter, Managing Editor, FindBiometrics: I wanted to congratulate you on having Iris ID’s tech integrated into the GenKey platform. What opportunities has that integration opened up for Iris ID?

Mohammed Murad, Vice President, Global Sales, Marketing and Business Development, Iris ID: Thank you for taking the time to talk to me today.

The GenKey platform provides identity management solutions for many vertical applications. Their customers recently have been requesting multimodal biometric engines. Iris ID has been engaged in that business for a very long time so they came to us due to our reputation for providing a very well-architected solution that can be integrated with other modalities. From an opportunity perspective there are several applications currently being looked at in Africa. GenKey believes there are opportunities for us to demonstrate and interface the iris recognition solution into those critical applications in healthcare and other identity authentication areas. The opportunities are there and now they have to demonstrate the capabilities of an integrated solution.

Currently our customers are looking to have a non-contact biometric implemented in health care and other verticals so it made sense for us to provide our core architecture to be integrated into the GenKey platform. They are very familiar with our solutions and our technologies; they know they have been vetted across the globe for some of these applications and it’s going to open mutual opportunities for both of our companies. We provide integrated iris and face capture devices so they can use our hardware to capture the iris and the face and provide back-end matching for the face and finger along with our back-end matching for iris recognition.

FindBiometrics: You mentioned that Iris ID’s platforms have been globally tested, and another big milestone for you was that Iris ID recently received certification from the Bureau of Indian Standards. Why is the BIS certification important in that region and how will it affect Iris ID’s long-standing business in India?

Iris ID: In 2010 Iris ID was one of the companies that provided biometric solutions for the UID project, the largest identity platform in the world. Now as the project is starting to mature, they are going to use iris biometric devices for many applications. BIS is important as it provides a comfort zone for the Indian enterprise consumers, assuring them that this product meets the documented standards for Indian technology. India is an important growth market for us and we want to continue to pursue opportunities and applications for identifying the Indian citizens.

FindBiometrics: Speaking of growth markets, we’ve finally started to see the healthcare market embrace biometrics. What are some iris biometrics use cases in the healthcare sector?

Iris ID: We have been servicing the healthcare vertical with iris technology for a very long time in the areas of access control and secure identification for access to laboratories and R&D centers. Now, we are starting to see entry into non-contact, accurate identity authentication in patient registrations. The pharmaceutical industry is also looking at our technology to be part of their manufacturing process. We see substantial growth opportunities in multiple applications within the pharmaceutical/healthcare space.

FindBiometrics: What would you say are the main drivers in the pharmaceutical space, specifically?

Iris ID:  Non-contact identity authentication is ideal because when you go to a hospital as a patient, you don’t want to touch anything because of the transmission of viruses, etc. That’s one area. And the other is in the pharmaceutical or laboratory area for either workstation security or access to the manufacturing equipment. These people are wearing gloves, goggles and masks, that’s why they need a means of authentication that’s non-contact. The ability of our technology to work beyond those things makes it a very interesting identity solution for healthcare industry.

FindBiometrics: And jumping off of that point, contactless biometrics are becoming increasingly popular thanks to user’s familiarity with facial recognition on new smartphones and I’m wondering has this mainstream trend towards contactless also had an effect on the vertical markets that Iris ID serves?

Iris ID:  Absolutely, one of the best things to ever happen to the biometric industry was that now we carry a biometrically-enabled device in our pockets. That biometric allowed me to have authentication only for that device but it opened up the consumer space by showing this can really be helpful to protect my identity and my privacy. I am the only one who’s going to be able to gain secure access to my smartphone. The biometric identity on these mobile devices definitely helps our vertical space and, in general, the biometric industry.

FindBiometrics: That makes a lot of sense to me because the idea of everybody working in those verticals is also a consumer so they’re just sort of familiar with it now, which is great.

Iris ID: And it’s not just the people who are working in that vertical – anybody who has a cell phone is a consumer of biometric technology now. I have an iPhone and I use the facial recognition every day. It is for my convenience and somewhat for security but it gives the consumer the idea that biometrics can help us in general with identity authentication challenges.

FindBiometrics: It really is the best thing that has happened to the industry. Moving into enterprise security, and just the security industry in general, ISC West is just around the corner and I’m wondering: what can we expect to see from Iris ID in Las Vegas this April?

Iris ID: We have been servicing the enterprise security access control market by providing solutions to address those challenges since 2002. Our goal has always been to tightly integrate our products with enterprise-level access control solutions. At ISC West, our focus is going to be twofold. One, we are going to be talking about integrated solutions with enterprise access control applications such as AMAG Symmetry technology, C∙CURE from Software House, Honeywell Pro-Watch and Lenel OnGuard. Our access control solution, IrisAccess, is tightly integrated into these enterprise platforms which enables the customer to be able to manage our system and their access control system from one platform.

Additionally, from our solution we can support legacy access control applications and be prepared for future applications. We also will be talking about our implementation of OSDP which is the new secure protocol for access control.

You also talked about an enterprise-level identity authentication platform. We’ve been working on a prototype for workstation security. We will be talking about our concept of doorway-to-desktop security which will be a complete identity authentication platform that can be interfaced into an enterprise. You will be able to present the same identity credentials at your workstation that you used to enter the facility.

FindBiometrics: That is really fascinating because that really does seem to be a major trend that we have seen discussed at ISC West in recent years, and it is just a convergence of information and physical security. It is really great to see that an established player like Iris ID is actually solving this challenge.

What role do you see biometrics playing in this trend towards universal authentication in general?

Iris ID: This is a very old story around the pain of managing passwords. Enterprise and consumers are looking for a way to eliminate that pain but do not want to open up the system to weak authentication. The inclusion of biometrics into a universal authentication model strengthens that case. So, we believe biometrics will play an important role in authenticating consumers and enterprise customers for granting access to facilities or a workstation.

FindBiometrics: It really should be – when you are your credential you should be able to use it everywhere you go. It seems like the natural progression.

Iris ID:  You are carrying something – your iris – with you wherever you go. It’s not that I left my badge at home and I have to go have a badge reissued. That costs money from loss of productivity and also the equipment needed to reissue tokens. And it leaves a crack open into enterprise security.

FindBiometrics: Exactly, I mean hopefully you can’t lose your irises – that would be a very bad situation to be in!

Just to finish up here, what have been the highlights for Iris ID in 2019 and what can we look forward to later in this year from your company?

Iris ID: We see this as a very good year from a technology adoption perspective. Our customers are demanding biometrics in every vertical: enterprise security, airport solutions, access control, passenger processing. So, we believe the adoption of biometrics is going to help elevate our solutions in many different applications.

We are very excited for 2019. We see our demand pipeline is much larger than it was last year, which is an indicator that we’ll be able to attain the numbers that we are targeting.

FindBiometrics: Fantastic. Well Mohammed it is always a pleasure to talk to you. Thanks for taking the time to update me on Iris ID today.