Access Control in a Digitized World

Cybercrime is on the rise and advances in digital technology pose a threat to the security of the data belonging to major organizations in both the public and private sector. Cybercrime is expected to cost the global industry $8 trillion [1] this year and continue to rise, reaching a $10.5 trillion cost impact in 2025.

These costs encompass the financial value of damaged or destroyed data, embezzled funds, intellectual property theft, reputational damage resulting from fraudulent activity, the loss of personal or financial data, disruption to business operations, and lost productivity.

In a recent survey conducted by the Deloitte Center for Controllership, it was found that a significant portion, up to 34.5% [2], of executives reported being targeted by cybercriminals and experiencing data breaches within the past year. This statistic highlights the urgent need for businesses to proactively address the evolving cyber threats posed by the expanding capabilities of the internet. To safeguard sensitive information and take full advantage of the opportunities offered by the digital landscape, organizations must elevate the sophistication of their cyber security protocols and implement robust measures to mitigate these risks effectively.

The zero-trust security framework is a pivotal solution for handling these challenges directly. By adhering to the principle of “never trust, always verify,” organizations can foster a security-centric culture in their everyday business operations. This framework revolves around granting access on an individual level, leveraging the implementation of robust biometric security measures to thwart unauthorized access attempts and prevent the inadvertent disclosure of sensitive information.

Embracing the zero-trust framework empowers businesses to establish a resilient security protocol, ensuring that only authorized individuals are granted access to critical resources and data, alleviating the risks associated with cyber threats.

Access Control – what does this mean?

Using biometrics for access control can apply to physical locations and digital environments. Both physical and digital environments benefit from tailored access protocols whereby only authorized personnel can access specific areas, to protect the assets and data stored within them from tampering.

The evolution of biometric technology for access control

Traditionally, access to physical locations has been controlled by keys or keypads. Biometric data such as fingerprint, retina, or voice recognition technology is now enabling stricter controls to be applied.

This same technology can be applied to the control of access to data within a digital environment, with fingerprint-embedded ID cards allowing access to only those named individuals who have a “need to know.” In the ever-evolving world of access control, biometric data could be vital in protecting business assets and data.

How biometrics can be integrated into zero-trust networks

Zero-trust critics argue that such strict biometric access controls present a challenge to collaboration [3]. Overcoming this perception requires targeted staff training and ensuring that the culture of the organization is not adversely affected by the rollout of the technology. The use of biometric data can simplify this acceptance process, creating a level playing field in which each individual has responsibility for safeguarding the data to which they have access.

Biometrics removes the guesswork from access control – if someone’s biometric data does not allow access, they are not cleared [4].

In short, biometrics can improve the strength and validity of security protocols – a topic that will be discussed in greater detail in the next post.