What is Biometric Access Control?
Biometrics are a credential of access control that allows a location to be accessed only through the biological data which is unique from person to person. The primary benefit of biometric access control is that it’s practically impossible for an unauthorised individual to gain access as they can’t duplicate your unique fingerprint or other biological data.
Biometric data includes fingerprints, iris scanning, facial profile and voice patterns. These types of features can be utilised within security technology to increase the level of protection you have when it comes to your employees and assets, including securing the location where you work. The purpose of access control is to regulate and restrict who has access to what within your business, but some security measures are easier to override than others.
Biometric data gives you the certainty that the movements around your premises and within, are true to what your system has reported. It removes the room for human error and deception, by using aspects of our genetic make-up as a means of access, as the elements of this are beyond the control of others or even ourselves.
Biometrics give you high security access to restricted spaces with the convenience of not having to carry around a card, key or fob. With the advances in smart phone technology incorporating biometrics this has made the technology much more widely available, accepted and cheaper than ever before.
How Does Biometric Access Control Work?
Biometric access control uses the biological data of a person to permit entry to premises and specific areas of a building. Once installed, you will collect the biometric data from anyone you wish to be permitted by the biometric access control system. It’s important to choose a system that encrypts this data as the security of this personal data will be very important.
A database is then created consisting of the biological data of the people you wish to grant access. You can then customise this, allowing certain people to have access to specific areas of the building, even at certain times. For instance, if this technology was used within a bank, general staff would have access to the main areas but only senior staff would be able to access the room containing the cash safe.
Biometrics may sound complex, but they offer simplicity alongside accuracy, to give you peace of mind. The most common form of biometrics is fingerprint recognition, which is convenient whilst reliable and almost impenetrable. A fingerprint scanner is used to analyse one of your fingerprints and then store it in a data file. Then when you go to access a specific location, you place your finger on a reader and the system analyses the print to see if it matches a credential in the database. Once a match is confirmed, the access control records your entrance activity and lets you in.
The same type of process is used in facial recognition biometrics, where the biometrics of the face are scanned with infrared light, to submit entry. With the introduction of biometrics to Smartphone technology, this contributed to making the concept more accessible and widely used. Most mobile phones are advanced enough nowadays to allow you to use these as a component to your access control system. Paired with biometrics, staff can use smartphones to enable the app to trigger the access control door.
The technology is advanced but the concept is very simple and effective. Once put in place, you can be assured that your biometric access control system is only allowing access to the correct individuals into the locations of your choice. People can’t simply swap, borrow or clone biological data from one another, so the system is extremely secure.
What are the Benefits of Biometric Access Control?
Impossible to Fake, Steal, Clone or Forget
Access card, password or pin based security systems rely on information that can be easily forgotten and elements you may lose. The appeal of biometric data is that it can’t easily be cloned or guessed by another individual. Biological data removes the power from individuals to be able to share keys or passcodes with others, and you are much less likely to lose a finger or eye than key/fob. Biometrics are one of a kind as no two people share the same biological data. Believe it or not, even identical twins do not have the same fingerprints.
The market for biometric access control has increased in recent years as it offers a more secure means of authentication than coded, smart card or proximity entry. Key cards can be shared, lost or stolen and the numbers on a keypad can wear after frequent use, revealing the digits of the password and opening the business up to weakness. An advantage to biometric security is a lesser understanding and recognition of the technology. Most people recognise a keypad as a sign of a locked door, drawing attention to it, because it alerts to something behind the door worth protecting. Biometric scanners are less known to the common eye and so it is more difficult for an unwanted person to guess where you are keeping your valuable assets.
Detailed and Accurate Audit Trail
When biological data is used as an access key, the records of entry are going to be completely accurate. In the past, colleagues would’ve been able to share key cards, which would often occur out of convenience. This would have given a poor audit trail to who has accessed which areas of the building and at which times. Biometric access control removes this limitation and adds an additional layer of security. It is extremely convenient to have your biometric data grant access as you don’t need to remember to carry it and there is no expense paid like with key cards or fobs. The system can also alert you when someone unauthorised has tried to access a certain door and you can be certain of who it was.
Ease of Use
Biometrics don’t need to slow you down. Once the system is installed and database set up, the process runs smoothly and is time efficient for everyone involved. It takes the same amount of time, if not less, to scan a fingerprint or iris, as it does to use a key card or enter a simple pin code. It’s actually more user friendly than alternatives like key cards and fobs, because human error is taken out of the equation. Biological data isn’t affected by memory like a passcode is and you can’t lose it or leave it at home.
Managing Access Credentials
Managing who has access to what areas of your premises, and at what time, is incredibly simple. Once registered in the database, every person can be managed from a centralised system. You can quickly and easily grant or deny access to specific doors and areas based on the individual and what their access levels should be. There is no need to recall or re-issue cards because they can simply be updated from within the system.
Since face recognition software was introduced as standard with the iPhone X in 2018, and every iPhone release since, people have become more familiar with the idea and less reluctant to use biometrics in their everyday lives. This is great news for businesses looking to implement these kinds of security measures because there is a wider acceptance in society.
Due to this new found approval among the people, you will now see a wide variety of biometric solutions are available to buy ‘off-the-shelf’ from the likes of Amazon and such. Be extremely wary when it comes to these as they are often not as reliable as the manufactures would have you believe. Just a glance at the reviews reveals many people have had issues with these, especially with installation. Biometric solutions don’t really come under the scope of DIY projects and it’s not worth gambling with the security of your business.
It is most likely a better use of your time and money to go directly to a security provider for the process of installing biometric access control. Remember: there’s no point cutting corners when it comes to the safety of your building and occupants. Perfecting your set-up takes time and consideration to get right. There are many things to consider that will make or break the assurance, reliability and strength of your biometric access control system.
To make the most of your system and to ensure that it’s meeting its full potential, it’s always worth having a professional installation. An expert installer will be able to specify, design and install a biometric system that works in partnership with the other security technologies in your building, designing a network of integrated security solutions to keep your family, staff and visitors safe.
Article Credit: https://www.chrislewis.co.uk/blog/why-you-need-biometric-access-control-the-benefits-and-uses