The Future of Secure Access Control and Biometrics

In the second post of the series ‘The Future of Access Control’, we discuss different types of access control approaches and how biometric can be a critical solution.

The corporate world has seen a plethora of changes over the last few years, and the area of access control is now in accelerated development. Prior to the Covid pandemic, traditional key card entry systems and passwords were deemed sufficient methods of granting employee access to company buildings, workplace devices and networks. Yet with hybrid and remote working practices looking set to become the norm for many organisations, there is a need to update authentication protocols to effectively defend against a threat landscape that has also evolved.

Traditional Approaches to Access Control

Access control has rightly been seen as an important aspect of maintaining corporate security for many years. Traditional approaches have hinged on authentication through passwords, or, in the case of physical premises, RFID identification cards. In conjunction with these tools, the most technically-literate organisations have also implemented “zero trust” policies, and limited permissions to the most sensitive data and networks. Unfortunately, where these defensive strategies ultimately rest on the efficacy of the traditional passwords and RFID cards, these companies are not as secure as they may think.

Indeed, the technology for cloning RFID cards has already been available for more than a decade. Meanwhile, the changing landscape of cyber crime means that passwords are no longer an effective method for keeping hackers at bay. The incredible processing capabilities of the cloud have been harnessed by these criminals, who use bots to crack passwords with ease (up to 100 million password combinations may be generated per second [1]). This means that a typical eight character password may be uncovered in a mere twelve minutes. And the danger of stolen passwords should not be underestimated: Verizon’s 2021 Data Breach Investigations Report [2] found that 61% of data breaches were the result of password theft. With the fines for a data breach can easily cost a corporate €20 million or 4% of annual turnover (whichever is the greater sum), falling victim to hackers can prove ruinous.

Access Control Biometric Technology Is the Answer

The future lies in cards with built in access control biometric technology. By integrating fingerprint sensors into an employee card, organisations can be reassured that only the specified member of staff will be granted access to networks and workplace premises. Where portable devices such as tablets, laptops and smartphones are used, having company workloads and data guarded by secure access control, biometric methods eliminates the danger posed by loss or theft of such items.

With the need for a password eliminated, organisations will have absolute control over who can enter their networks or buildings, and, enjoy the confidence that comes from choosing a method that is unable to be stolen, guessed and used fraudulently. For organisations in areas where trust is paramount (such as health, finance and education), integrating secure access biometric technology to ID cards is the most secure option.

Fingerprint sensors hold the key to a more secure future, and organisations across all sectors should be making the switch to a secure access biometric approach. By replacing outdated RFID cards and passwords, organisations can effectively protect their data and their interests.

In the next post, we will talk about the way workplace access technologies are evolving and biometric can secure the workplace.