The Benefits of Biometrics in Physical Security

Fingerprint scan
Biometrics is defined as the application of statistical analysis to biological data in the Oxford dictionary and uses unique physical or behavioural traits to verify the identity of an individual. Biometrics is not a new concept.

Police have been using fingerprint identification since the 1800s, however the advancement of computer technology has allowed companies to use biometric devices to increase their security immensely. Biometrics have allowed companies to move away from less secure practices such as passwords and pin numbers to practices that are harder to hack such as fingerprints, iris scanners and even voice recognition devices. Some companies even utilize multi-factor authentication to log in to a computer.

The most popular usage of biometric data in security is a fingerprint reader. What used to be something seen only in science fiction movies is now used in every day life. Many people even use this this technology on a daily basis and a lot of people even use this technology to gain access to their mobile phones. The same technology is a great option for companies to incorporate into their security plan. Now the technology is widely available, the cost is relatively low, especially compared to other forms of biometrics such as iris scanners and facial recognition.

Here we discuss the benefits of using biometric security devices as part of an overall security plan.

•    Biometric security devices remove some need for passwords. Unlike passwords, biometrics are not easily shared or hacked. Password security issues account for many data breaches within companies.

•    Biometric security devices can be used to avoid cyber and physical security breaches- Modern devices are extremely versatile as they can not only be used to prevent hacking and other data breaches but are regularly used for access control and authorization. Unlike keys and proximity cards, biometrics cannot be stolen which makes them great addition to your physical security.

•    The technology is becoming cheaper over time. Although facial and iris recognition is still expensive, fingerprint recognition continues to decrease in price, making them a realistic option for many businesses.

•    Fingerprint recognition is more accurate than voice recognition.

•    They can increase convenience- biometric security devices are extremely efficient and convenient as an employee do not need to remember anything in order to access the building or information, only biological features such as fingerprint or are needed.

•    Can be incorporated seamlessly with other methods of security- You can team biometrics with many aspects of your existing security and doesn’t necessarily need to replace anything, it can be used in addition.

•    Biometrics are accurate- Although they are not perfect, biometrics are a lot more accurate at identification than the use of passwords or access cards. If you work in a high-risk sector, then biometrics are a perfect choice.

•    Biometrics can also help with accountability. If any security breaches take place, a biometric security system will provide data that is easy to analyse and confirm how the breach took take and by whom.

Are there any drawbacks to biometrics in security?

Despite its many benefits, there are still some areas of concern that businesses should consider. Biometric security devices can sometimes be slower in practice due to the time it takes for people to apply their finger to the device and for the reader to process the information. If you have an extremely high trafficked area, you should consider whether biometric security devices would effect building access in high-volume periods such as the beginning or end of shifts.

Although biometrics cannot be lost like access cards can, this does not mean that there are no ways to gain access to someone’s fingerprint. If a security breach does happen, you can easily replace an access card but when we are talking about someone’s fingerprint, it is another story!

The important thing to remember is that despite how beneficial biometric security devices could be, you should not rely on them as your only method of security as despite its many benefits, biometrics remains imperfect. Consider implementing multifactor security system, regardless of the advances in technology.  By teaming up biometrics as part of your overall physical and cyber security strategy, you can ensure your end to end security is as strong as possible and it can help to enhance physical security systems immensely.

To find out more about how biometrics can be incorporated into your physical security plan, please contact us on 01522 682255 for a free, no-obligation quotation and feasibility survey to assess your perimeter security equipment.

Why more businesses are using biometric fingerprint readers

Fingerprint recognition technology is one of the most reliable ways to control access to unauthorised areas. Once reserved for only the most high tech of businesses, biometric fingerprint readers are now widely accepted and being increasingly used in a broad range of fields. 
How do biometric fingerprint readers work?
Fingerprint recognition is the most widely used form of biometric recognition, more popular than both iris and facial recognition techniques.  The first step in this type of recognition is fingerprint template formation, which is also known as minutiae extraction. This is when the sample fingerprint is provided to the scanner and the scanner creates an 8-bit scan of the person’s fingerprint. This scan is then converted into binary code using complex algorithms. When an employee or other authorised person wants to gain access to your building, or a specific part of it, they simply need to scan their finger and the biometric reader checks its storage for a matching approved scan in a process which takes only seconds. 
Why are they so popular?
Biometric devices are becoming more and more popular every day as people discover different uses for it. We often see fingerprint scanners used in airports and by police forces, but they are becoming more and more common as a method of access control. While key fobs, cards and keys are useful in preventing unauthorized personnel from accessing your property, there are occasions when they fail, such as if someone loses their keys, or has them cloned. Biometric fingerprint scanners are much more reliable as everyone’s fingerprint is unique and it is much harder to create a copy.  Other examples of biometrics being used in less obvious places include at schools as a method of checking attendance, at gyms to only provide access to paying members and as a means of payment for services and goods. 
If your business needs to control access to restricted areas or has another use for biometrics then Gateway Automation can assess your requirements and provide you with a free, no-obligation quotation and feasibility survey. Click here for more information about FR-240 Biometric Fingerprint Readers, click here to arrange a callback or click here to download our free brochure.

Reduce employee theft in warehouses

clip_image002Internet shopping giant Amazon hit the headlines recently after resorting to putting up flat screen TV’s in their warehouses which showed stories of alleged former employees who had been ‘terminated’ or ‘arrested’ for stealing company stock.

While this is an extreme method of deterring employees from stealing from you, it is understandable that Amazon aimed to put protections in place considering how much of their stock has a resale value.

However, there are other ways to show your employees that you mean business that have less of a chance of damaging company morale and creating a public relations storm.

Mirrors & cameras
First of all, mirrors can be installed in strategic areas of your warehouse that highlight any hard-to-see areas where employees may be able to conceal items away from your cameras or the sight of other employees. Your employees are less likely to try and commit opportunistic crime if their actions are highly visible through a combination of mirrors and cameras.

Create secure areas
For particularly high value items it is important to put systems in place so that employees are unable to easily gain access to them. Security does not end simply with perimeter protection and you need to make sure that items of high value are given full protection. This could be achieved by enforcing a two-person rule where no-one is ever allowed to access specific items by themselves, or by securing a room or cage with a key pad or finger print biometric access control system.

Limit the number of keys
While it’s important to lock up your building at night, keys are not as secure as they might first appear. Physical keys are easily copied which means that if a key is lost or falls into the wrong hands then it could put your entire warehouse and stock at jeopardy. Instead you should limit physical keys only to specific high clearance members of staff and provide key fobs for other staff which can be deactivated if they part ways with your company.

Outside of these three key areas you should also ensure that checks are done on new employees to make sure that they are fit to work for your company and don’t have shady details in their past. You may not need to enforce a DBS check even just calling previous employers can help.

Gateway Automation can provide free, no obligation quotes and feasibility surveys for your premises. To get us to assess your security requirements, please contact us here.

How biometric fingerprint scanners can help secure prisons from drugs

clip_image002Last year in the UK there were almost 4,500 instances where prisoners were caught with illegal substances.

This figure is only expected to have risen with levels of drug abuse and use of synthetic drugs such as “spice” becoming widespread.

In fact, The Prisons and Probation Ombudsman found that in 39 deaths between June 2013 and June 2015, the prisoner in question was known to have been using drugs or was highly suspected of doing so before their death.

The level of drug abuse in UK prisons presents a complicated problem for the Prison Service and highlights a need for new strategies to keep drugs from entering prisons. Recent reports have found that while drones are being used to smuggle in drugs, prison visitors remain the most common source of drugs in prisons.

Many prisons in Britain are now turning to Biometric identification systems as a method of identifying both inmates and visitors as they enter our prisons with systems already installed at Woodhill, Bellmarsh, Manchester, Long Lartin & Whitemore.

Biometric fingerprint readers are one of the most secure access control systems available on the market. This is because the person requesting access has to use their fingerprint to gain authorisation – and a person’s fingerprint is entirely unique. This therefore removes the chances of an inmate visitor impersonating someone else to gain access and further propagate the problem of drugs in our prison system.

If you are interested in learning more about Gateway’s range of high quality, low cost access control equipment then call us on 01522 682 255, or contact us here.