Biometrics such as iris, fingerprint, face, voice is now becoming mainstream with large scale applications in different industries. While others may think that biometrics is too costly and unnecessary, business owners are beginning to realize the benefits of biometric adoption in both physical & digital security control such as: streamlining operation, enhancing productivity, minimizing security related losses, and reducing costs.
- Physical Access Control
Identification of a person bases on things we have (locks, keys, coded plastic card) and things we know (password, PIN) is now outdated, insecure and comes with significant amount of money to maintain. Furthermore, the National Retail Federation report found that 60% all inventory losses are actually caused by employees and about $33 billion in revenue lost in 2013 due to employee theft. Apparently, there is a need for higher security control system in businesses.
An adoption of biometrics can help businesses add an extra layer of security and enhance the security of building offices, certain facilities or unauthorized places, thereby protecting infrastructure and asset that critical to them.
- Workforce Management
One of the most popular biometric applications in business is workforce management system which uses iris, fingerprint or vein recognition to track time and attendance of employees. A market report done by Acuity indicated nearly 400 million biometric time and attendance devices have been deployed worldwide by 2008. Eliminating time theft, streamlining processes and increasing productivity are undoubtedly tremendous benefits that business can make out of biometrics system. A recent study showed that U.S. companies lost nearly $400 billion per year due to “time theft” or loafing. Furthermore, industry studies have determined that most businesses spend at least 50% of their total budget on payroll and workforce management. Especially for large scale companies such as factories or industrial zones, where the number of workers comes up to hundreds or even thousands, the cost is much higher.
Biometric time tracking system has delivered significant evident savings. As reported by companies that adopted biometric system, they have saved up to 5% of total payroll. Colin Fisher, Crossland’s IT manager said: “Our company owner estimates we saved $850,000 in the first year.”
- Data Access Management using Biometric Single Sign-on
Biometric single sign-on (SSO) is a biometric identification management system that allows users the ability to provide their biometric characteristic in replacing of a password or PIN as a secure method of database access. Once they log in, they will get access to all systems and not being prompted to log in again. Utilizing biometric SSO authentication provides stronger authentication and security, especially when “insider data theft is inevitable” said James Arlen, Leviathan Security Group. A study, which polled participants from the U.S., U.K., Germany, France and Canada, revealed 36% of data breaches were the result of employee misuse or negligence, while 25% were intentional attacks from an insider.
Besides, organizations are suffering from data loss worldwide. A survey of around 3,900 companies worldwide resulted that the cost of lost financial data ranged from $66,000 to $938,000 per organization. Unsecure identity management, weak password, and improper authentication of individuals accessing data are often the root causes of data security breaches in almost organizations. Adopting biometric SSO would give many advantages to organizations including: stronger securities, anti-spoofing capabilities, higher identification accuracy, ease of management, and cost savings.
- Biometric Digital Signature
Digital signature has become popular in authenticating for transactions that require legal authorization from organizations such as: e-transaction, email contracting, and e-government security. Electronic version of signatures provides certain benefits but they needs to be put at higher level since hackers are becoming more sophisticated while traditional protections such as password and smart card carries the risks of impersonation or access loss. What happens when an attacker tricks a victim into signing a contract with unfavorable terms, an email that contains threats or a bank transaction with an unintended recipient?
In 2013, a global electronics company – Hitachi is the first company to develop biometric digital signature technology successfully that works along with applications such as in the national ID system, e-government services, and e-commerce in Japan. Biometric digital signature will help to resolve traditional digital signature’s problems by ensuring a single, unique identity which is tightly bound to the digital signature; release the worries of access loss due to losing the card or forgetting the password.