The Growth of Biometrics
Biometrics is increasingly utilised across security systems as a core authentication method. Biometrics measure individuals unique physical or behavioural characteristics to recognise or authenticate their identity.
Authentication in security typically involves:
- something you know such as a password, PIN or personal information;
- something you have such as a card key, smartcard or similar; or
- something you are – a biometric.
It is considered the most secure and convenient method whether using facial characteristics, fingerprints, retina or iris scans and even the veins in a person’s hand.
It can help drive greater operational efficiencies, like getting people through facilities quicker, while maintaining a more controlled environment by knowing exactly who is on-site and not just who cards in on-site, which is all part of enhancing security.
If using a biometric-only technology, then losing or forgetting an access card is no longer an issue. Typically, biometrics is used in a layered approach, securing high risk in critical areas where one must know exactly who is entering or leaving. The pinnacle biometric solution within the next few years will be DNA – still a work in progress, but eventually commercialisation will define it as the most accurate of all the biometric measures.
Physical access is the most popular area with major application of biometrics to secure various locations. Unlike photo identification cards which a security guard must verify, biometrics permit unmanned access control.
It is important that security professionals maintain current knowledge as this important area of risk minimisation continues to evolve.