11 Sep Securing the future of the food and drink industry with biometrics
The food and drinks industry is a dynamic sector, one that is ever-changing and encompasses the production, retail and service of essential items for our homes. As such, the industry is increasingly at risk of security breaches and even, as reported recently, food terrorism. The very nature of the industry means the demands for tight and reliable security are increasing. As such, biometric security is no longer a smart move, but a necessary one.
Biometric access control systems work by identifying the unique characteristics and traits of an individual. For instance, a fingerprint reader will measure the fingerprint against a stored template and determine whether that user has the permission to enter the building, or particular levels. Essentially, biometric authentication provides accountability for workers within the food and drink industry – especially important when it comes to hygiene and security.
We are already witnessing the popularity of biometric access control systems, with the expectation that the technology will become mainstream within the food and drink manufacturing industry as soon as 2025. As such, we’re discussing the advantages of biometrics within the industry.
Combat food terrorism
The primary advantages of biometrics are the enhanced security. Food terrorism is particularly prevalent today, and those handling food must be aware of the possible dangers. The potential damage from contaminating food and drink is staggering – especially when dealing with national and international suppliers. However, biometric authentication reduces the risk of those without the necessary permissions entering the premises and contaminating any produce. For instance, criminals are not able to replicate the fingerprint template stored on ievo readers, thus substantially reducing the risk of any security breaches.
It’s also extremely possible that key cards can be left in places they shouldn’t, enabling individuals to use these key cards for access when prohibited. Likewise, passwords and codes are becoming increasingly vulnerable, with sophisticated hackers able to compromise the business.
Security is paramount when dealing with food and drink, and biometric access control systems ensure users are restricted to specific levels and permissions.
Reduce the risk of contamination
Following on from the previous point, other advantages of biometrics include minimising the risk of contamination. As mentioned above, the technology enables business owners to restrict access to particular levels for employees; essential when dealing with vulnerable resources, such as the water supply for particular areas. With key cards and passwords, the possibilities for replication and or hacking passwords are high.
Should a contamination ever occur, biometric access control systems enable managers and business owners to identify who was on the premises at that time, and determine who is responsible. In the case of key cards, for instance, you would have to determine whether the card was misplaced and used by someone else, and who, in fact, was that individual – greatly increasing the risk of more contamination.
Tracking of attendance
Biometrics authentication can provide managers and directors with real-time data, integrate this with time and attendance software and greater workforce management is enabled, allowing the tracking of employee attendee; the times they clock in and out etc. The ability to accurately record the times saves precious resources – especially for those businesses still using traditional timesheets. Similarly, the attendance tracking possibilities also eliminate any time theft and or employees abusing their attendance. For instance, some may log in for another employee or even enter the building and leave before they are due to finish a shift. There is accountability for employees at all levels; from the manager to the food delivery driver.
As mentioned above, you can track the attendance of your employees, allowing for greater workforce management. There are fewer mistakes when it comes to checking that the employees have fulfilled their hours, and are in places they are not permitted.
Biometric access control systems also ensure that you no longer have to rely on your staff to look after their key cards, or have remembered the latest update to the code/password. A misplaced card or even a slip of the tongue when sharing the code with an employee that is not permitted into that area could prove disastrous for a company, and the users.
Biometric security is excellent for remote management. Today, a factory may be located over a dozen areas and, as such, it’s essential to keep track of all employees in various areas. Biometric access control systems enable managers to do so, tracking all access requests and permissions. It is smart, safe and also ensures that not one employee feels singled out. Everyone is tracked and must abide by the rules.
It’s also important to note that biometric security also enhances compliance levels when it comes to food and drink. Only those with certain permissions can enter specific levels, increasing security and reducing the risk of vulnerability.
You can read more on the biometric security available for the food and drink industry, with a downloadable brochure sharing information on installation and more. Alternatively, you can find more information on our biometric readers here.