Biometric access control

Fingerprint scanAny type of biometric access control system will identify the person trying to gain entry by scanning that person’s unique physical characteristics, whether that is a fingerprint or retina or something else.

A biometric access control reader works by using a laser to recognise the unique pattern of an individual’s characteristic, matching it up to a pre programmed database. This database is operated by an administrator who can use the reader to create a template of those people who can be granted access.

Types of biometric access control systems

Advances in technology are constantly expanding the range of biometric readers that can be used, such as DNA or odour recognition being newly available. However, the most commonly used biometric access control systems are;

  • Fingerprint recognition
  • Iris or retina recognition
  • Face recognition
  • Voice and speech recognition
  • Vein recognition

All of these are relatively easy to install and administer.

Problems associated with biometric control

There is a moral and personal consideration to be thought about when using biometric access control systems. Some employees will not want such personal information stored on a database for instance or feel that it is an infringement to privacy. As biometric access control becomes increasingly common, more information and training will be available and the benefits very clearly seen. However, introducing a new biometric system may take careful planning to ensure all individuals concerned are happy with the developments.

Biometric accessThe benefits of installing biometric access control

There are a huge number of benefits to using biometric access control and biometric solutions are becoming increasingly popular. This is largely due to;

  • False acceptance rates and rejection rates are incredibly low. Therefore, the system is extremely reliable.
  • Eliminates the problem of passwords being shared or swipe cards being swapped.
  • Largely eradicates the fear of access codes or cards being stolen or cloned.
  • Fingerprints and other personal characteristics used in biometric access control are very hard to forge.
  • An easy to operate one-touch access system.
  • Biometric access control easily integrates all security across large premises, ending the need for multiple passwords or keys. All access allowance is controlled at the touch of one finger or the scan of an eye.
  • There is very little scope for human error, therefore the system is extremely secure.
  • Data is reliably and securely stored.
  • Once the system is set up, there are very few administration costs or the expense of replacing lost swipe cards.
  • Saves money by tightening up the areas of loss prevention and employee time and attendance.

Biometric access control systems are a very real solution to security needs in residential as well as commercial properties. The combination of security, efficiency and accuracy make it a perfect system for high risk buildings, such as banks, hospitals, military bases, police buildings, financial buildings or research facilities. However, an increasing number of schools, educational establishments, high end retail outlets and private properties are employing biometric access control. This trend looks set to grow and is already being used in some far more common and public applications, such as cash machines and airports.

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