Making biometric systems meaningful

August 2003 Access Control & Identity Management

The buzz word in access control the world over is 'biometrics'. Simply put this means that one uses certain unique elements of the human body - the most fundamental being the fingerprint - in a line up of many such as the eye retina, the iris, facial geometry, hand geometry, voice patterns and the like, to act as the identifier or the credentials for computer processor-based systems to typically grant access into a secure operation or environment for specific authorised individuals. In theory, this means that only the correct person will be allowed in as these credentials are unique and as such cannot be stolen, loaned (or sold) to others, or accidentally lost, thereby placing them at the disposal of others.

Biometric access control systems are generally deployed in environments where security is of paramount importance. This could be in the protection of assets, processes, operations, intellectual property and the like which are core elements of successful business or institutional operations.

The reality is that biometrics on their own are pretty meaningless unless they are coupled to devices which ensure that only one person at a time with the correct and verified credentials actually gains access to the secure area.

Too often one finds that such a system merely controls conventional doors which unwanted and unauthorised people can sneak through by merely putting their foot in the door (so-to-speak) as the authorised person, who just validly entered the building, disappears down the corridor in haste. In most modern day operations where speed is of the essence and people come and go seemingly without end, not everyone can be relied upon to be vigilant and ensure these things do not happen. This leaves a huge loophole for the criminal or industrial espionage agent to find their way into the heart of the operation with the greatest of ease.

With this in mind Transaction Control Technologies (TCT) introduced the internationally patented selector door which addresses the problem in a very practical manner by not only controlling access to those with verified credentials only but also making the passage of bulk items and wheelchairs possible under controlled circumstances.

The selector door is an innovative product that aims to make the application of biometric access control systems meaningful, thereby offering discerning clients the high level of secure access control their operations demand without compromise.

The selector door has not only found success in the South African market but has also become the secure access control door of choice by leading international companies, the most recent of which being a leading world banking group which has selected the Versamax model of the selector door to control access to various high security areas in its London operation.

The Versamax model
The Versamax model

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