Keys, keypads, and access cards are still often used to restrict entry in many buildings. Passwords and physical tokens, which are used by these antiquated approaches, are no longer secure means of access control and come with significant additional costs. There has been a growing trend in the recent years toward using biometric access control systems that provide entry based on a person’s unique bodily traits.
What is Biometric Access Control?
A person’s biometrics can be their unique behavioral patterns, physical characteristics, or chemical signature. A biometric access control system verifies a user’s identity by collecting and comparing their unique biometric characteristics to a database-stored template. Since biometric authentication calls for the user’s actual presence, it’s a more secure and trustworthy method of identification.
Physical access control, airport security, law enforcement, and financial transactions are just some of the areas where this technology has found use. Access control technologies like fingerprint readers, facial recognition software, and iris scanners are becoming increasingly popular as businesses attempt to meet rising customer expectations for safety and simplicity of use.
Since the late 1800s, law enforcement agencies have employed fingerprint-based biometric devices (to identify criminals). Fingerprint scanners of the current variety are used in access control applications, where each fingerprint is scanned, processed, and stored in a database for further comparison. Users’ fingerprint patterns are stored in the authorization database after they have given their informed consent. The saved information will serve as a guideline for future login attempts.
Fingerprint access control has the advantage of being simple to implement. There aren’t any cameras or complex mechanisms to worry about. All that’s required of the integrator is to set up a fingerprint recognition terminal at or near a door lock.
Many establishments favor fingerprint access controls due to their high security and low hackability. Instead of utilizing passwords or other codes that can be lost or stolen, users are identified solely by their unique biometric data. This aids in preventing unauthorized access to sensitive facilities and machinery. A fingerprint-based security system was previously only affordable for high-security facilities. Fingerprint access control was previously out of reach for many low-budget applications, but the price of this technology has plummeted considerably over the last few years.
Despite fingerprint scanning’s high level of accuracy, it is nevertheless vulnerable to human error. Authorization for otherwise eligible individuals may be denied due to minor flaws, such as wounds on a finger. Fingerprint scanning plus a secondary authentication factor, such as a passcode, could be the answer to this predicament.Fingerprint access control has found its way to smartphones and other mobile devices due to its high accuracy and simplicity. As the majority of people get more familiar with this technology, its use will expand.
Face Recognition Access
Using a person’s facial features, face recognition can be used to authenticate their identity. Facial traits captured in an image, video, or live video feed can be mapped using biometric technology. The person is then identified by matching the generated pattern to one of their own faces stored in a database.
Because it provides a passive, frictionless, and seamless access solution, face recognition access control is gradually replacing key cards and other outdated methods in access control contexts. Users will never again need to reset their access card or badge because they forgot their PIN. They need just stop in front of the reader for a split second before the door unlocks automatically. This offers the utmost in user comfort and reduces wait times at the entrance. In an era when many businesses are worried about the transmission of disease, face recognition technology can provide a touch-free, germ-free alternative.
There are numerous reasons to be optimistic about the future of facial recognition technology. Inadequate photos, unfavorable camera angles, or inadequate lighting can also contribute to mismatches. Concerns about privacy have arisen at a time when large-scale data breaches seem to occur almost monthly. Users may feel uneasy if they believe their facial data could be taken. Using many layers of encryption to protect user data, including AI to enhance system performance, upgrading to higher-resolution cameras, and protecting against spoofing are all potential solutions.
Facial recognition technology has seen fast growth as a result of recent advancements. Facial mapping is being used to eliminate the need for boarding permits on more and more flights. Apple and Samsung smartphones both use face ID as a means of unlocking the device. The widespread use of facial recognition technologies is only likely to increase as systems for privacy and security rules are refined.
Iris and Retina Scanning
Scanners that read the eye’s iris or retina can verify a user’s identity.
The scanner for the retina needs to be extremely close to the eye for the scan to be effective. To take a picture of the retina (at the back of the eye), a beam of light is sent into the eye. This technique is not commonly utilized because of how invasive it is. Although retinal scanning is the most secure technique of access control, it is also the most expensive.
In contrast, iris scanning involves taking a picture of the eye’s iris using a camera sensitive to infrared light. These patterns will be utilized to create a digital template that will be used to positively identify an individual. The iris’s status as a stable internal, yet highly visible, organ of the eye makes this approach exceptionally resistant to false matches.The camera just needs to be 3–10 inches away from the iris to take a clear picture, making iris scanning another non-invasive biometric method. Some countries have already begun using iris scanning technology to implement fully automated border crossings. Iris scanning is relatively secure and reliable, but it can be fooled by things like dark eyes, contact lenses, and eyelashes.
Iris scanning is gaining traction in the market. Access controls based on iris scanning have advanced to the point that they can reliably operate in low light, recognize persons even while they are moving, and provide correct results even when worn with contact lenses or other eyewear. These systems are finding more and more uses in areas including law enforcement, patient identification, banking, and business.
In conclusion, biometrics technology has undeniable benefits (high-security assurance, user experience, non-transferable, etc.) that continue to strengthen its applicability to access control uses. Speech recognition and palm vein identification are two other biometrics credentials that are gaining traction alongside the aforementioned technologies. In order to apply the most recent technology for dependable and convenient security administration, businesses need to be aware of, and prepared for, changes in biometric technology as well as upcoming IoT security concerns.