Alternative to biometrics

Access & Identity Management Handbook 2006 Access Control & Identity Management

If a sophisticated biometric-based access control solution is beyond your budget, do not despair: it is likely you can achieve a similar level of security using a carefully designed but less costly ­card-based system.

This is the view of Norbain South Africa's access control product line manager, John Loudon.

Loudon admits that biometric-based systems are preferable when the company has to guarantee a 100% identity match before allowing someone access to a high-security zone.

However, he points out that a solution utilising biometrics could cost twice as much as a card-based system. In fact, using biometrics simply because the option exists and the budget allows for same, might result in a less-than-efficient solution because many biometric systems do not yet address the high levels of functionality and flexibility of card-based solutions, he warned. Combining both products would be the ideal solution but a costly one.

"Today's biometric access control systems are exceptionally good at identifying people but not yet as good as proximity-based solutions at controlling access. It is likely, further down the track, the producers of these biometric-based solutions will incorporate the functionality, robustness and flexibility of the systems offered by access control leaders.

"At the moment, however, manufacturers like Softcon and Impro have access control solutions that truly control, monitor and facilitate access," he says.

A case in point where biometrics was the obvious but more costly solution is one recently designed by Loudon and his team for a credit card manufacturing company.

The company wanted the international card manufacturing accreditation and had to satisfy certain criteria before it would be admitted to 'the international club'. One of these criteria was stringent access control, and the installation company called on Norbain SA to assist design a solution that would meet the required standard.

"Given budget constraints, we designed a system that utilised all of Impro's access control features to provide the strictest control possible without resorting to biometrics," says Loudon.

"It is a card + PIN combination solution featuring approximately 20 dual readers and a host of other system capabilities. Features include strict anti-pass back on all doors, enforced routing within 10 different zones, limited number of 'tags' in receiving and dispatch areas, several two-door and three-door interlocks, control room graphics, audible alarms, and so on.

"I will admit that the most secure system would have been a combination of access control and biometrics, but budget did not allow for that.

"Fortunately, our product knowledge of the feature-rich Impro solution meant that the manufacturer did not have to compromise too much - a fact recognised by the auditing body when it audited and certified the company as achieving the security and manufacturing levels necessary for certification," he says.

For more information contact John Loudon, Norbain South Africa, +27 (0) 11 887 1546.





Share this article:
Share via emailShare via LinkedInPrint this page



Further reading:

Facial access control for ministry
Issue 1 2020, ZKTeco , Access Control & Identity Management
The Ministry of Culture in Saudi Arabia has adopted ZKTeco’s facial recognition technology and fingerprint biometrics to manage access control into its building.

Read more...
New Door Pilot app from dormakaba
Issue 1 2020, dormakaba South Africa , Access Control & Identity Management
With new dormakaba Door Pilot, automated doors can also now be operated on the basis of remote control technologies. The system, comprising the Door Pilot app for smartphones and a Wi-Fi interface for ...

Read more...
Identity lifestyle
Issue 1 2020, Suprema , Access Control & Identity Management
Once the technology of the future, biometrics has quietly snuck into our daily lives through smartphones and access controls into our places of work.

Read more...
Securing BP’s new head office
Issue 1 2020, ISF SFP , Access Control & Identity Management
ISF SFP was awarded the contract to secure the first development phase for Oxford Parks, the new head office for BP South Africa.

Read more...
Combining aesthetics and access control
Issue 1 2020, Turnstar Systems , Access Control & Identity Management
Prestigious law firm Bowman Gilfillan recently upgraded its physical security with the addition of four Turnstar Speedgate Express access control lanes.

Read more...
Video doorbells from Ring
Issue 1 2020 , Access Control & Identity Management
Ring has a number of video doorbells available in South Africa that run off batteries or power and enable users to answer their doors from anywhere.

Read more...
Centurion to unveil new product
Issue 1 2020, Centurion Systems , Access Control & Identity Management
Centurion Systems will be hosting its third Access Automation Expo this year, with dates confirmed for Durban, Johannesburg and Cape Town.

Read more...
Looking ahead with mobile access technologies
Access & Identity Management Handbook 2020, Technews Publishing, HID Global, dormakaba South Africa, Salto Systems Africa, Suprema, Gallagher , Access Control & Identity Management, Integrated Solutions
Given the broad use of smartphones around the world and the numerous technologies packed into these devices, it was only a matter of time before the access control industry developed technology that would ...

Read more...
Mobile access is more secure than card systems
Access & Identity Management Handbook 2020 , Access Control & Identity Management
The ability to use mobile phones as access credentials is one of the biggest trends in a market that historically has been slow in adopting new technology.

Read more...
This is the future. This is what we do.
Access & Identity Management Handbook 2020, ZKTeco , Access Control & Identity Management
ZKTeco has created a unique range of visible light facial recognition products combined with a flexible Android platform.

Read more...