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Learn about options that will fortify your access control
THE CASE for BIO-
Is your facility’s physical security at risk for breaches? Maybe you’re fed up with lost keys, ID swapping and tailgating. Perhaps your risk profile has shifted and you need to restrict access in ways you never had to before. Consider biometrics if it’s time to beef up your credential system. You can add a higher level of authentication by requiring occupants to present their hand,
fingerprints, face or eyes to gain entry.
Specify with Purpose
Security risks morph over time, requiring that you stay
on top of threats your facility could experience. Adding
biometrics should be driven by a verifiable security
need. Companies that use one of these robust systems
routinely cite concerns such as international and domes-
tic terrorism, theft, data breaches, and occupant safety,
says Paul Penzone, Managing Director of Operations
and Program Development for ABM Security: “It comes
down to protecting people, product, and property.”
Consider what goal or objective a biometric credential
will satisfy for your building. Deploying this technology
can improve security in numerous ways:
■ Use identification that cannot be forgotten by the
■ Require a token that is expressly difficult to duplicate
■ Eliminate manual badge checks
■ Remove the possibility that a credential can be passed
to another person
■ Add a secondary level of identification
■ Reduce costs associated with keys and cards
■ Limit access to a select group of occupants or areas
within your building
■ Minimize your security risk profile
■ Enhance corporate accountability
A biometric ID can also serve as a master credential.
Consider that an average employee may be issued a key, a
photo badge, a PIN code, and a smart card. A single occupant could have up to four methods to gain access, not
including guards at any checkpoint.
“Biometrics provide an opportunity to standardize
a credential methodology that spans multiple access
systems,” says Sean Ahrens, Global Practice Leader
for Security Consulting and Design Services with Aon
Global Risk Consulting.
You also need to decide if your biometric system will
verify or identify enrollees, Ahrens adds. A one-to-many match means that a presented credential will be
compared to all of the other templates on file, essentially identifying the individual and giving them access
according to the permissions associated with their
profile. A one-to-one match will simply verify that the
presented credential is confirmed for entry.
If you aren’t sure whether biometrics should be used
for your entire population or a subset of employees,
refer to your security risk assessment. You need to
decide which threats your organization can tolerate
and those that are necessary to address, says Penzone.
Look for ways biometrics will minimize inherent risks
as well as create efficiencies and cost savings.
Establishing the impact of adding biometrics will also
help you justify the upfront expenditure required.