Follow us on:
Follow us on Facebook  Share via Twitter  Share via LinkedIn
 

Search...
Hi-Tech Security Solutions Business Directory


Embedded biometrics provide an extra layer of security
March 2006, Identity Management

Breaches of security are minimised in many ways. One way is to literally limit the windows of opportunity for infringement. For instance, if the database of those authorised for access to a facility is not reliant on networking hardware systems, the chance for someone to infiltrate the system is reduced as are the possibilities of downtime. One cannot hack what is not there. What is not there cannot break down.

That is what embedded biometrics add to a system. When biometrics are embedded, no PC nor other IT elements are involved in managing the database at the door. In some instances, this level of integration can be achieved without reporting to an external access control system.

If one is not authorised to enter, the reader at the location, without checking elsewhere, tells that person that they cannot enter. Likewise, if authorised, that person can enter without the reader having to verify from a remote location.

Embedded systems come in two different varieties. One has been used for some time and is seldom even thought of as an embedded system. It is the standalone biometric reader, which manages biometric templates within the reader. The other is newer, where the biometric template management is actually performed by a smartcard.

Standalone biometric systems have been employed since the late 1980s. The Recognition Systems HandKey II reader providing access to a unique private library and museum at the New York Weill Cornell Medical Center is a case in point. The museum is so secure that it is only accessible to a very small group of people.

New York Weill Cornell Medical Center
New York Weill Cornell Medical Center

"It was imperative that access be secured because of the value of our library and the museum's contents," explains Ben Scaglione, director of security at New York Weill Cornell Medical Center, which along with Columbia Presbyterian, makes up New York Presbyterian Hospital, one of the most comprehensive university hospitals in the world. "People come from all over the world to review and look at the books and artifacts located here."

According to Scaglione, New York Weill Cornell has a magnetic stripe system for the rest of the facility. However, the museum presented a special problem, needing something extremely reliable and foolproof. Instead of verifying a card or code, the HandKey reader verifies the person who is at the entrance. The exclusive users simply enter their unique ID numbers on the HandKey's keypad and present their hands to gain entry. No other equipment or system is involved.

Smartcard hand reader
Smartcard hand reader

Smartcards, embedded biometrics in your wallet

What is being installed at major seaports is but one example of how a smartcard can store both the user's ID number and hand geometry template on the card. Because of this, there is no need to distribute hand templates across a network of hand readers or require the access control system to manage biometric templates. This means integration to any existing access control application is greatly simplified and additional network infrastructure costs are eliminated. Since the template only resides on the card, the solution also eases individual privacy concerns.

Providing the best of smartcards and biometrics, the solution provides dual authentication by requesting both the right card and the right person. A smartcard reader is embedded into the biometric reader. A plastic cardholder is affixed to the side of the unit. The verification process takes approximately one second and is virtually foolproof.

In most applications involving smartcards and embedded biometrics, hand geometry is preferred since a hand template uses up only 9 bytes versus an average of 300 bytes required by fingerscan readers per finger.

The Port of Antwerp in Belgium, the second largest port in Europe and the tenth largest in the world, just installed an Internet-based ID-verification and credentialling card-management system employing electronic and biometric technologies. More than 8000 credentials have already been recorded by the system. When fully deployed, it is estimated that credentials for more than 20 000 longshoremen, truck drivers and other employees and visitors requiring access to the port will be validated and recorded by the system.

Each of the 20 000 electronic identification smartcards are equipped with radio frequency identification (RFID) technology allowing them to be read up to 10 centimetres away by each reader, facilitating fast movement through access points. The system stores information about employee certifications, work experience and access restrictions, as well as biometric identifiers.

However, the hand geometry template of each card recipient is prerecorded directly on each credentialling card for use at the terminals using the biometric hand readers. Template management remains on the card, not in the system.

When the smartcard is presented to the smartcard reader embedded in the hand reader, the user is requested to place their hand on the hand reader. It then compares the hand's length, width, thickness and surface area with the template stored in the smartcard to verify identity. The process takes approximately one second and is virtually foolproof.

Whether using embedded biometrics in a smartcard system in which many people must be credentialled or using a standalone biometric reader with its embedded biometrics at an access point used by few people, embedding biometrics should be considered in any access control overview.


  Share via Twitter   Share via LinkedIn      

Further reading:

  • How to implement an effective visitor management system
    April 2015, Powell Tronics, Access Control, Identity Management
    Powell Tronics believe that access control and visitor management has moved up the list of top priorities for residential estates and business parks, to a stage where it is almost on par with standard security features such as perimeter walls, electric fencing and CCTV.
  • Easier visitor management
    April 2015, Impro Technologies, Access Control, Identity Management
    Integrated, Web-based visitor management solution manages visitors efficiently and simply.
  • Easing visitor management ­headaches
    April 2015, Centurion Systems, Access Control, Identity Management
    Is it possible to have complete security at the entrance to your complex or business park without making things unnecessarily difficult for your visitors?
  • New visitor registration on iPad
    April 2015, Taggit SA, Access Control, Identity Management
    Taggit has a visitor registration system developed for the iPad that can be customised to customers' needs and managed via the cloud.
  • Visitor management evolves
    April 2015, Access Control, Identity Management
    Visitor management services and solutions developed to suit the evolving needs of the modern day consumer.
  • Making a move into Africa
    April 2015, Access Control, Identity Management
    Hi-Tech Security Solutions speaks to the CEO of Matrix, Ganesh Jivani, about the company’s move into South Africa and Africa.
  • Controlsoft integrates HID’s new Mobile Access technology
    April 2015, Controlsoft South Africa, Access Control, Identity Management
    Controlsoft is the first company in South Africa to integrate its product portfolio with HID Global’s new Mobile Access technology.
  • Mobile Access explained
    April 2015, HID Global, Access Control, Identity Management
    HID Global’s Robbie Truter, area sales manager for sub-Saharan Africa, answers some questions on the company’s new Mobile Access solution.
  • International, multi-site security
    April 2015, Access Control, Perimeter Security, Alarms & Intruder Detection, Identity Management, Enterprise Solutions
    Healthy food provider required a security solution that could be implemented in the UK and US to secure its premises without numerous sets of keys. Paxton's Net2 plus was chosen for the job.
  • Identity and access management trends for 2015
    April 2015, CA Southern Africa, Access Control, Identity Management
    CA Technologies announced five key trends for security and identity and access management (IAM) that will impact organisations and security professionals in 2015 as they compete in the application economy.

  • April 2015, Access Control, Identity Management
    IHS discusses the future of barrier-free parking by making use of the latest in ANPR technology. Not only is it possible, it is probable we’ll see this type of solution in the near future.
  • The advantage of electronic signatures
    April 2015, Access Control, Identity Management
    Using electronic signatures, employees can sign a digital form, even if they are offline, and it is immediately transferred once connectivity is established.

 
 
         
Contact:
Technews Publishing (Pty) Ltd
1st Floor, Stabilitas House
265 Kent Ave, Randburg, 2194
South Africa
Publications by Technews
Dataweek Electronics & Communications Technology
Electronic Buyers Guide (EBG)

Hi-Tech Security Solutions
Hi-Tech Security Business Directory (HSBD)

Motion Control in Southern Africa
Motion Control Buyers’ Guide (MCBG)

South African Instrumentation & Control
South African Instrumentation & Control Buyers’ Guide (IBG)
Other
Terms & conditions of use, including privacy policy
PAIA Manual
         
    Mobile | Classic

Copyright © Technews Publishing (Pty) Ltd. All rights reserved.