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Foolproof Access Control through Biometrics.

  You are unique. So are your eyes, your hands, and all other traits that make up "you."

  That's why access control systems based on biometrics (the measurement of human traits) are the most positive method of identification in existence. For companies that need an extremely effective and foolproof access system, biometrics are the answer.

  PIN numbers and cards replaced keys years ago as a means of controlling access. And while we aren't a "keyless" society yet on a personal level, we're certainly well on our way on a corporate level. The problem is that PIN numbers, passwords, and cards can still be stolen or the information copied. Access is restricted or given solely based on a card that is carried, not on the person who carries it.

  In biometrics, physical attributes, most commonly hands, are read and then digitized into an electronic template. This information is stored on a computer and used as a checkpoint for future access. The biometric reader is not taking an X-ray or fingerprints. It actually takes a three-dimensional photograph which is totally harmless.

  The pictures taken from hand readers record the length, width, and thickness of the hand. The photograph is then digitized and transferred to the reader's memory. Two hundred different dimensions, like the shape of the fingers and the position of the joints are recorded for each hand. The reader reviews all the information and determines what is unique to each hand and targets those features for a match.

  Biometrics will eventually be common enough to replace reusable passwords for access to computer files. Currently, most applications that utilize biometrics are highly sensitive installations like accounting offices, computer rooms, clean areas in laboratories, or cash rooms. But they are gaining in popularity. Some airports, for instance, are installing biometrics systems to authorize personnel. Universities are installing them in dormitories for maximum student protection. Large manufacturers are installing biometrics units to identify employees and determine access to restricted areas.

  A biometric system may be a reasonable choice for your access control needs. If you are interested, we'll give you a "hands-on" demonstration!

This article was first published in Volume 3, Edition 3 in the Intelligent Security newsletter--a newsletter published for the security professional by PSA Security Network.

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