Access control for Wits

November 2004 Access Control & Identity Management

Fact file

Project scope.

Tertiary environment.

One x Sagem Biometric Enrolment and Management System.

Two Sagem Biometric Terminals - Morpho-Access.

Two locations.

Approximately 190 staff and post-grad students enrolled in first phase.

Several hundred students to be enrolled shortly.

The history

The School of Electrical and Information Engineering at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg was facing a problem of ineffective access control to its office and administration area, and also experienced theft of equipment from the area.

The existing measures included card readers, and pushbuttons for the receptionist.

The cards did not provide a sufficiently unique means of controlling access.

A new system was needed not only to increase security levels, but also as a means of testing the feasibility of biometric identification for access control in tertiary education environments.

The solution

The School of Electrical and Information Engineering is no stranger to analysing and testing advanced technology, so the task of finding a best-of-breed biometric system was not taken lightly. The Department investigated different biometric technologies and finally selected Sagem due to its performance and level of expertise in major government systems internationally.

The goal

The main drivers behind the decision to install the biometrics system were:

To limit access only to authorised persons (staff, professors, lecturers and post-grad students) based on biometric identification. To have an accurate and reliable audit trail of people entering the area.

To dramatically enhance security levels and to provide accurate reports of people entering the site.

To test the feasibility of biometrics for access control and time and attendance in a tertiary environment.

The benefits

More accurate and reliable access control based on biometric identification, and also to eliminate the dependence on tokens such as access cards.

In summary

All goals successfully achieved and Professor Dwolatzky offers this advice to other educational institutions: select established and trusted biometric systems. Perform tests with meaningful numbers of people on the biometric readers before making any decisions.

Due to the successful implementation and operation of the system, the Department has chosen to expand the system in order to control access to recently completed lecture rooms where specialist post-graduate courses will be held.

Fact file

Key service providers, products and solutions.

System integrator and installer: Exys Security Solutions, Billy Gilbert, 012 665 5470.

Biometrics: Sagem Morpho range, distributed by Ideco Technologies, Gary Jones, 011 442 0064, [email protected]

Wits University - Dept of Electrical and Information Engineering, Prof B. Dwolatzky, 011 717 7206, [email protected]


Share this article:
Share via emailShare via LinkedInPrint this page

Further reading:

Smart parking management platform
Access Control & Identity Management Asset Management, EAS, RFID
Parket builds a seamless bridge between supply and the ever-increasing, but fluid – and often temporary – demand for parking bays.

Visible-light facial recognition terminal
ZKTeco Access Control & Identity Management Products
The SpeedFace-V5L [P] is a visible-light facial recognition terminal using intelligently engineered facial recognition algorithms and the latest computer vision technology.

Facial and palm verification
ZKTeco Access Control & Identity Management Products
The ProFace X [P] supports both facial and palm verification, with a large capacity and rapid recognition.

Glide Master High Security 90° Sliding Gate
BoomGate Systems Access Control & Identity Management Products
Boomgate Systems was asked to make a sliding gate that can turn 90 degrees. The gate had to offer high security and be vandal-proof.

Informing, entertaining and communicating across your landscape
Evolving Management Solutions Access Control & Identity Management
For the first time, the attraction of large shopping malls with many stores, entertainment and food courts no longer offers enough appeal to attract customers.

Suprema’s new BioStation 3
Suprema Access Control & Identity Management Products
The brand new BioStation 3 is not only Suprema’s smallest face recognition device to date, but it also comes packed with the largest variety of features.

Suprema renews international privacy and security standard certifications
Suprema News Access Control & Identity Management
Suprema has simultaneously renewed two important international standard certifications regarding information security management (ISO/IEC 27001) and privacy information management (ISO/IEC 27701).

SuperVision biometric access control
Integrated Solutions Access Control & Identity Management Products
SuperVision is a time & attendance (T&A) biometric access control system Fourier IT has been developing and enhancing for 18 years.

Manage energy usage with Paxton access control
Paxton Access Control & Identity Management Products
Paxton provides access control systems that can integrate with existing infrastructure and manage a building’s energy-consuming activities to save energy and costs.

Why Multi-Factor Authentication, universal ZTNA and Zero Trust matter
Access Control & Identity Management Cyber Security
Malicious cyber actors are experimenting with new attack vectors and increasing the frequency of zero-day and other attacks, according to Fortinet’s 1H 2022 FortiGuard Labs Threat Landscape report.