Biometric fingerprint scanners: what are they?

30 Aug Biometric fingerprint scanners: what are they?

The biometrics industry has rapidly expanded over the past several years. Biometric fingerprint scanners, especially, are taking centre stage when it comes to office security, attendance systems and more. In years gone by, we may have entered a pin to get into the office – or simply opened the door – but with security becoming an ever more pressing issue, biometric fingerprint scanners can provide the necessary reassurance that businesses need. However, some may still be in the dark to the potential uses and benefits of the technology, so we are sharing the ultimate guide to biometric readers.

fingerprint scanner

What are biometrics?

Essentially, biometric readers recognise a person based on physiological, or even behavioural, characteristics. Among the many features available to measure are fingerprints, and biometric fingerprint scanners are fast becoming a popular option for many sectors. Biometric data is also completely separate from that of personal information. Your biometric fingerprint cannot be reverse re-engineered to recreate information and, thus, cannot be stolen.

How do fingerprint scanners work?

A fingerprint reader, basically, has two primary jobs: to get an image of your finger, and determine whether that image matches a registered user template stored on the systems. Once it has done that, you are free to enter the building, providing you have the appropriate permissions.

While capturing an image of a fingerprint, a fingerprint reader – such as this IEVO reader – records specific and unique characteristics of a fingerprint, measuring both the surface and subsurface data which is transferred to and stored on a control board where it is encrypted as a template, ready for reference at a later date. Actual images of a fingerprint are not stored, so it isn’t possible to duplicate or replicate your fingerprint.

Evolving technology

Biometric readers and the biometric industry as a whole is continuously changing and adapting to new technology trends. Biometric security is certainly not a new science, with iris recognition dating all the way back to 1936. However, only in the past few years have we seen more and more companies adopting the technology due to increasing demands for tighter, more reliable security measures to fight the rising tide of security breaches, data hacking and even identity theft. Biometric access control systems – such as fingerprint scanners – are one of the solutions to fulfil confidence for business owners, while providing a great deal of convenience and benefits.

Why should you use biometric readers?

As the world becomes increasingly concerned with security, fingerprint scanners can prove invaluable. Today, business owners can gain a huge number of benefits from employing a biometric reader system.

One such example for biometric access control systems is workforce management. Managing the team is faster, more efficient and accurate with the use of fingerprint lead access control systems. Tracking the attendance of employees will help to reduce any time theft or fraudulent behaviour, thus improving business operations. Similarly, it’s easy to lose key cards, forget pin numbers etc. but you’d find it hard to lose your fingerprint…

Another benefit of using a biometric fingerprint scanner with an access control system is to restrict access to particular aspects of your company, via settings within the access control software. If only a select few employees have access to a restricted area, or you wish to lock out areas to visitors, you can ensure no one else will gain access using a fingerprint reader without the necessary permissions. This also saves you the time of having to continually adapt key codes or monitor the distribution of pass cards, etc.

The readers can be used in a number of sectors, such as government, retail, healthcare, manufacturing industries and more. For instance, Governments and other corporations are turning towards biometric technologies to prevent identity fraud, security breaches and, subsequently, ensure secure confidential data is safe. With the global biometric reader industry expected to surpass $23.54 billion by 2020, we predict businesses from a range of fields will soon begin to adopt the technology.

As technological advancements pave the way for security,  it is vital for organisations to adapt and prove flexible to survive.

Employee privacy

As mentioned above, fingerprint biometrics can be a huge asset to your company. However, it’s understandable that many employees may be nervous about the technology – particularly as more than 70% of consumers believe their personal data has been made available for sale by cyber-criminals.

Fingerprint biometrics do not take a direct image of your fingerprint, but rather create a templated representation from biometric data of the finger which is stored on a separate control board where a sophisticated algorithm encrypts the template to refer to when required. Essentially, this means the template cannot be reverse engineered to replicate a fingerprint nor stolen and used to access personal information. It is virtually impossible to duplicate the image from this representation.

Benefits of fingerprint biometrics

There are huge benefits to biometrics access control systems, and there’s little wonder the industry is growing at an exponential rate.

Security

Of course, the primary advantage for biometric readers is security, as the fingerprints are almost impossible to steal, forget and compromise. Thus, biometric fingerprint scanners provide a great deal of reassurance compared to traditional mechanisms. The fingerprint is intrinsically linked to the individual, meaning there is no possibility of fraud. The verification process offers confidence and accountability to employees.

Similarly, they can be used in conjunction with other technologies to further enhance security for your company.

Convenience

Convenience is a substantial driver to the growth of the biometrics industry. Traditional mechanisms such as key cards, passwords, IDs are increasingly vulnerable, as the users must carry the items with them or memorise a code, which can be written down or shared leaving exposure to potential fraudulent activity. You are, essentially, relying on all staff for access to your company. However, a fingerprint is an individual characteristic that cannot be lost. They needn’t worry about misplacing any items.

Access control

Fingerprint readers and biometric technologies can control access to particular levels of your business, depending on the employee’s job profile. Biometric fingerprint scanners ensure maximum security for these levels, and ensure authenticity. For instance, a password or card system will have no way of knowing the correct person is entering the premises. However, the fingerprint scans for those unique characteristics attributed to specific individuals.

Easy installation

The ease of installation is another major bonus to biometric fingerprint scanners. The technological advances have significantly streamlined the process for installation, and it can be up and running within several hours.

Ultimately, biometric technology is the way forward. We are increasingly moving into a digital era with more pressing security concerns, and the likes of fingerprint readers can ensure your employees, and business, is safe. If you would like to discuss more on the industry, you can read further information on our fingerprint products here.

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