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Biometrics Products - Choosing a Quality System

Identity Theft

Biometrics products are increasingly being incorporated into privacy, security, and data solutions for a wide variety of organizations, from government entities to financial institutions to amusement parks. Essentially, biometrics technologies offer an automated method of recognizing humans based on either a physiological trait or behavioral characteristic. Biometrics has much to offer the security infrastructures of the future, as these systems are accurate, difficult to penetrate, easy to use, and reliable. However, not all biometric products are created equal, and if you’re in the market, there are certain characteristics that need to be looked at. Here are some of the areas in which to evaluate biometric products to ensure that they’ll be able to provide an effective security solution for your business or organization.

  1. Establishment of a distinguishable trait: This refers to the biological characteristic or trait that’s being measured. There are several aspects to consider here, such as the trait’s universality (meaning the majority of people need to have it), uniqueness (i.e., it needs to be unique to the individual), and permanence (where it’s not going to change significantly over time). Biometrics products that rely on older technologies such as fingerprint analysis have a long track record to fall back on, making these systems much more reliable and accurate. But, on the other hand, some of the newer approaches may require more research before all the “bugs” have been worked out.
  2. Predictable performance: Whatever characteristic is being measured, data needs to be collected in a socially acceptable and predictable way—in other words, it must be easily collectible and measurable using nonintrusive and convenient methods for users (such as fingerprint or hand scanners, which seem to have gained general acceptance by the public). Furthermore, the system needs to deliver accurate measurements despite varying environmental circumstances. Since the assessment will occur in an office environment, the technology needs to be reasonably flexible concerning variations in noise level, light, temperature, and so on.
  3. Impenetrable security: One of the greatest advantages of biometrics technology is that, once in place, the system is difficult to deceive. Rather than relying on a password or smart card that can be stolen and used by an unauthorized person, security systems that scan irises and fingerprints make it virtually impossible for an imposter to penetrate the system. When looking at biometrics products, it's critical that you make sure the system you’re investing in offers this level of security.
  4. User-friendly: Finally, when choosing biometrics products, you want to be sure that the system will be easy to integrate and use. In the long run, this will cut down on your overhead costs significantly, since you won’t have to invest tons of money in system administration and support. This will also yield savings in the time and productivity typically lost when the system goes down.

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