Biometrics are already very well known and used in sectors such as identity confirmation and payments. However, their use could also be extended to benefit access control both for IT and physical infrastructure
One good use case is when accessing IT infrastructure – As the reported number of cyber-attacks has increased over time companies, which until recently were largely unprepared for the risks, have had no choice but to equip themselves to protect their IT infrastructure. Company leaders today understand that an attack can be costly and could end up damaging their business by compromising customer and organizational data, as well as disrupting production systems in a way that could cost the company millions of dollars. According to Cybersecurity Ventures, cybersecurity could cost companies globally in excess of $ 10 trillion by 2023.
Various technologies, such as multi-factor authentication (or simply MFA), that can be used to strengthen the security of digital access are already in existence. However, these systems often rely on access to a smartphone which in turn poses two main problems: first, not all employees have a work phone and some may be reluctant to use their personal device to identify themselves, and secondly, the use of these devices in industrial or sensitive sites may be prohibited for security reasons. There are also USB key identification systems, but again the risk of theft or loss does not provide a satisfactory solution.
In this context, the biometric card can be a welcome alternative where if paired with the holder’s computer, it could be used to unlock access to all or some applications. Identity is verified by a biometric sensor on which the cardholder has previously stored his or her fingerprint. If lost or stolen, it’s useless.
Another great use case is when accessing physical infrastructure – In addition to protecting digital space, access to physical infrastructure is also a security issue for organisations. Although access cards are the most common form of identification used by organisations, they do not guarantee infallible security. Cards can be lost or stolen and used to gain unprohibited access to buildings and other places that are meant to be secure. In this case, the biometric card offers additional protection where its personalised use guarantees that the user of the badge or card is indeed its owner, thanks to a fingerprint recognition system.
The use of biometrics in access control represents a real opportunity to strengthen infrastructure security. Considering what is at stake, and even though it costs more than a traditional card, companies are ready to take the plunge and protect their assets.
Thanks to the work already done for payment applications, cards are already available and in the customer testing phase, with only a few months to go before the first mass-produced models are available. The challenge for the use of biometric cards for physical access remains compatibility with the wide range of existing devices (card readers). Manufacturers are working hard to adapt these systems for rapid, simplified integration and adoption by businesses.
This guest post is by Céline Littré, Product Marketing Manager at Linxens.