classic | mobile
Follow us on:
Follow us on Facebook  Share via Twitter  Share via LinkedIn

Hi-Tech Security Solutions Business Directory

Biometrics is inevitable
September 2010, Access Control & Identity Management

The uptake of biometric identification in the financial world may take time, but it is sure to happen.

The uptake of biometric identification in the financial world may take time, but it is sure to happen.

There are many myths surrounding the Knights Templar and their sometimes legendary, sometimes suspect pursuits. The reason the Templars live on in history is that they became rich and powerful by offering what we call banking services to thirteenth-century customers, and the fact of their grisly demise in the early 1300s.

In those days, travelling between towns and countries was a dangerous affair as there were bandits around every corner ready to carry your valuables away. The Templars allowed travellers to deposit their ‘stuff’ at one monastery and collect the amount from another monastery after showing your proof of deposit – minus a small fee, of course.

Not much has changed. Today’s bandits are still around every corner and inside our financial houses, which still consider their fees small. And while there are many more outlets, from banks themselves, ATMs, credit and debit cards, and the Internet to choose from; the idea is that if you can offer some proof that you are a certain person you can help yourself to that individual’s money.

Things have changed in that criminals today have a broader range of tools and technologies to choose from when helping themselves to other people’s money. In fact, you can steal identities and raid bank accounts from the safety of your computer thousands of kilometres away. Unfortunately, many problems with identity theft and fraud happen in financial companies, perpetrated by the people who work there.

Of course banks try to curb internal crime by trying to ensure only the right people have access and authority to conduct specific transactions and access certain areas and information. Unfortunately, this is normally accomplished using identity cards and, for very secure processes, a combination of cards and PINs or passwords.

Marius Coetzee, COO of Ideco Biometric Security Solutions, is adamant that the use of cards and PINs is an inherently faulty process as they can be shared, copied and stolen. Few employees would consider it fraud to lend their card or access code to someone popping out for lunch. Not much damage in that? One local bank recently paid a R2,5 million price through passwords being shared.

“Using biometric identification is a non-repudiable process that links one identity to whatever business process the person associated with that identity is doing,” Coetzee explains. “You cannot lend your fingerprint, and it cannot be stolen and used without you noticing. So, when a biometric is used to authorise a transaction, that evidence will stand up in court; a lost card or forgotten password will not.

“We will see the use of biometrics increasing in the financial world over the next decade, eventually replacing insecure cards and PINs completely. This will not only happen for financial staff, but the physical and logical transactions of customers as well. Someone can easily steal your card and observe your PIN, but faking a fingerprint or iris is not that easy.”

To ensure security, there are processes surrounding biometrics that must be adhered to in order to ensure biometrics is 100% reliable. The products used must be proven to be reliable and secure, while being easy to use – you do not want people scanning their fingers four or five times before being recognised.

Additionally, the question of interoperability is also crucial. If a customer’s biometric works at one bank’s ATMs, for example, it must work at ATMs from all banks. This means that vested interests need to be put aside and the standards that already exist in the market must be accepted and implemented by all. There will still be brand and application flexibility, but within globally accepted standards.

Coetzee notes that globally accepted and proven standards are also crucial when it comes to privacy concerns in biometrics. All organisations will be happy to have a foolproof method of identifying people, but they need to ensure that their customers can be securely identified in multiple situations without exposing their private details. “This is not all that difficult; it simply means the financial institutions need to be careful in implementing their identification processes.”

The bottom line is that mindsets need to change if an effective identity chain is to be developed. This is not an access control solution that is expanded to include logical sign-on, but an holistic solution covering the enterprise and beyond. There may be resistance from many quarters that will lengthen the process, but to put a barrier between criminals and their targets biometrics is inevitable.

Supplied By: Technews Publishing
Tel: +27 11 543 5800
Fax: +27 11 787 8052
  Share via Twitter   Share via LinkedIn      

Further reading:

  • Security by SLA
    October 2016, Residential Estate (Industry), CCTV, Surveillance & Remote Monitoring, Access Control & Identity Management, Perimeter Security, Alarms & Intruder Detection, Integrated Solutions
    Based on a service-level agreement, AMAX offers security and communications installation and maintenance services to estates in Gauteng.
  • Successful security is planned
    October 2016, Technews Publishing, This Week's Editor's Pick, CCTV, Surveillance & Remote Monitoring, Access Control & Identity Management, Perimeter Security, Alarms & Intruder Detection, Integrated Solutions, Residential Estate (Industry), Training, Conferences & Events
    The second Residential Estate Security Conference, hosted by Hi-Tech Security Solutions in association with Rob Anderson was held recently in Durban, and saw delegates attending from all across South Africa.
  • Better decisions through training
    October 2016, Elvey Security Technologies, This Week's Editor's Pick, CCTV, Surveillance & Remote Monitoring, Access Control & Identity Management, Residential Estate (Industry), Training, Conferences & Events
    Elvey Security Technologies offers the globally accredited Tavcom training courses on security technology and processes.
  • Do you know who’s on your estate?
    October 2016, Impro Technologies, Residential Estate (Industry), Access Control & Identity Management
    Impro Technologies’ Estate Portal solution is an access control system that has been specially designed for residential estates and complexes.
  • SmartProtect extends visitor management for estates
    October 2016, This Week's Editor's Pick, Access Control & Identity Management, Integrated Solutions, Residential Estate (Industry)
    SmartProtect’s latest innovation is designed to make estate access control and visitor management simpler, faster, and also more secure.
  • GateBook for simple visitor management workflows
    October 2016, Gatebook, Residential Estate (Industry), Access Control & Identity Management, Products
    Easy to use, yet versatile visitor management solution in the cloud means no technology or technical skills required on the ground.
  • Is card access outdated?
    October 2016, Smart Five Card Solutions, Residential Estate (Industry), Access Control & Identity Management, Products
    An ID card is still by far the most common and cost effective way to secure access to estates. It is not outdated or extinct.
  • Mobile devices provide convenience and security
    October 2016, Powell Tronics, Residential Estate (Industry), Access Control & Identity Management
    Access control and visitor management form an integral component in securing residential estates and with advancements in mobile technology, estates have access to numerous high-end security features.
  • Integration and communication
    October 2016, Came BPT South Africa, Integrated Solutions, Access Control & Identity Management, Residential Estate (Industry), Products
    Integration and communication are two essential features when considering security systems and access control in a residential environment for both security and convenience of the residents.
  • Access to luxury simplified
    October 2016, Suprema, This Week's Editor's Pick, Access Control & Identity Management, Residential Estate (Industry)
    Suprema offers modern biometric access control to add luxury and freedom to urbanites in Seattle luxury high-rise.
  • Biometrics for upmarket estate
    October 2016, Powell Tronics, This Week's Editor's Pick, Access Control & Identity Management, Residential Estate (Industry)
    Removing bottlenecks and improving security at Helderberg Village through biometric access control.
  • Access with TFA
    October 2016, Residential Estate (Industry), Access Control & Identity Management
    Ideco has announced enhanced features to its Electronic Visitor Identity Management (EVIM) solution.

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)
Terms & conditions of use, including privacy policy
PAIA Manual
    Mobile | Classic

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