From the editor's desk: Card? What card?

October 2012 News

It is that time of the year again and the Access and Identity Management Handbook 2013 is now in your hands. This year’s handbook is probably the most important one we have done over the past few years, not only in terms of the specific content, but also the overall focus on the publication.

In the past, Hi-Tech Security Solutions has never been shy to talk about the move to biometrics and the importance of integrating access into other solutions. This issue gave us no choice as biometrics seems to have reached a turning point which sees informed companies actively considering biometrics for their access solutions instead of looking at it as a second thought.

The trend has not quite caught on in the IT world, which seems to be happy with cards and passwords, but how long can this carry on? There is the story of the IT department who says it is satisfied that passwords and cards are safe because their employees have signed a contract agreeing not to share their cards and passwords with anyone. I hope the IT manager in question was just saying that to get rid of a sales person and is not actually risking his job on it.

Of course there are still millions of cards and card-based access systems out there in the real world, but as more companies have to protect their premises, assets, data and finances from criminal syndicates who have more time and money than they do, we can expect to see more biometrics installed in almost every industry out there – especially in sensitive areas.

The biometrics market also had a bit of a shake-up this year with Morpho, the brand with the lion’s share of the South African market, expanding its distribution base. Will this result in even better sales for the biometric brand? If you look at the pages that follow, it is clear that other brands are not resting on their laurels, but actively driving their solutions to market.

Buyers’ selection guides

We have also included our Biometrics Selection Guide in the handbook for the first time this year. And it has proved to be the right decision. You can find a biometric device for any need in the guide. We were also told we cannot ignore other access control devices just because they were not biometric based, so we have also included an Access Selection Guide for non-biometric solutions. The number of entries we received was quite surprising, showing that biometrics have not taken over the world.

We have included the option in both guides for the vendors to highlight what applications their devices are aimed at as well as any integration assistance and capabilities buyers can expect. We do not go into intricate details, but the tables provide insight into what your hardware can do and what solutions it could be integrated into.

And if you think integration is a rumour, the following pages will change your mind.

Any insight from readers into what we can do to improve the guides next year is more than welcome. Feel free to let us know at And please use the same address should you have any comments on the handbook as a whole.

Andrew Seldon – Editor


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