Biometrics is a relatively new technology based on forensic science that allows businesses to identify information sources. Examples include facial recognition, finger and palm print identification, DNA identification, voice recognition, and iris scanning. This technology is especially important for value-added resellers (VARs) dealing with government and law enforcement markets, but applications also exist for the retail, medical, and hospitality industries, among others. These newer methods of authentication are among the most secure available, and VARs can help their customers choose the method that works best for their industry and enhances existing business processes. When using biometrics for authentication, a source is identified, and then all of the historical information relating to that source can be utilized within an organization. Examples of how biometrics can be used in order to improve business processes are illustrated below:
Elevate Badge Authentication - Many companies give their employees badges, and badge readers are installed in order to allow employees to gain entrance to buildings or even secure areas within a building. Many organizations have improved their security by adding another layer into badge security by having security guards match the badge picture to the person holding the badge. This way, the automated system can ensure that the person holding the badge is allowed to enter the building, and the guard can ensure that the right person is holding the right badge. But in order to improve the building security process even further and potentially with less manpower, the automated system can be utilized in order to conduct facial recognition and ensure that the employee matches up right at the door. Facial-recognition software includes a database of all employees and their characteristics and, using a door camera, can identify the person entering a building or a room and can grant or deny access immediately. This level of security is perfect for most businesses and is a major improvement over simple badge readers (where anyone with a valid badge can get through whether they match the picture on the ID or not).
Enhance Law Enforcement Identification - Face biometrics can be integrated anywhere there are modern cameras. Law enforcement agencies worldwide use biometric software in order to scan faces in closed-circuit TV (CCTV) footage and in order to identify people of interest. At dangerous borders or crossings, law enforcement uses facial-recognition software that captures and compares pictures of people passing by CCTV cameras while using license-plate identification equipment in order to track down criminals and drug traffickers. Police can even use their cell phones in order to take pictures of suspects and criminals, which they can then enter into a database that can be compared with pictures in a mugshot database. Border-control deployments use facial recognition in order to verify the identities of travelers and ensure faces match passport photos and are not in known criminal databases. All of these tools save time, centralize operations, decrease the need for costly manpower, and can be integrated into other systems, leading to overall improvements in business processes.
Improve Government Security - Government facilities that require high levels of security often use iris readers in order to ensure authentication. It is difficult to falsify the many aspects of each human iris, so this type of authentication is extremely advanced and secure. Iris scanning is one of the ultimate ways to secure top-secret government facilities and makes it virtually impossible for a detrimental security breach.
Patient Security - Hospitals are using palm scanners and readers in order to gain a permanent, secure record of who their patients are. Palms have unique characteristics that are difficult to duplicate, and using this technology, errors are likely to be eliminated. A quick scan of a palm brings up records in a database verifying the patient is who he or she says he or she is and can be linked to his or her medical records in order to save time and be accurate.
Authenticate Through Voice - Biometric voice authentication can be used in order to provide better-than-password security to online accounts or personal hardware, including smartphones, tablets, and PCs, using voiceprint biometrics, which measure the unique sound of a human’s voice. Voice biometrics are often used in order to authenticate financial transactions, especially payments, making transactions easier and more secure.
Locational awareness - As Geolocation through WiFi becomes prevalent, Biometrics methods such as voice recognition or facial recognition are candidates to verify a geolocation result as true or result of a lost cellphone/device. This info could then be used to trigger any number of events including starting video/audio conferences, content sharing and much more.
The biometrics field is growing rapidly and can impact existing business processes in many positive ways. VARs should become familiar with current and coming technology involving biometrics and start targeting vertical industries that can gain from this type of applied science.
Does your company understand, use, or sell biometric solutions that positively affect business processes? Please comment below.