Why Facilities Use Both Cards & Biometrics

10/24/2011 | By Jennifer Toscano, Ingersoll Rand Security Technologies


Integrating biometrics with cards and/or smart cards is quickly becoming a more common solution.  There’s a very good reason.  With traditional card access, once a badge is lost, the time from when the badge is misplaced to the time that it is subsequently reported, that badge is still alive and active in the access control system.  By adding a biometric to the access control system, a badge alone cannot be used to gain access. 

For instance, a single smart card can store both the user’s ID number and biometric template.  Because of this, there is no need to distribute hand templates across a network of readers or require the access control system to manage biometric templates. 

This means integration to any existing access control application is greatly simplified, eliminating extra network infrastructure costs.  Because the template only resides on the card, the solution also eases individual privacy concerns.  In most applications involving smart cards and embedded biometrics, hand geometry is preferred since a hand template uses up only 9 bytes versus an average of 300 bytes required by fingerscan readers per finger. 

Providing the best of smart cards and biometrics, the solution provides dual authentication by requesting both the right card and the right person.  A smart card reader is embedded into the biometric reader.  A plastic cardholder is affixed to the side of the unit.  The verification process takes approximately one second and is virtually foolproof.

This ensures that response times are fast and that the smart card can maximize its benefits by offering users increased room for other applications.  In addition, the implementation supports multiple secure applications on the smart cards.   Possible applications include the storage of additional information to allow for secure log on to a PC or laptop and accessing the company’s network.

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