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Understanding the role of biometrics in access control

Biometric locks have the potential to combine security and convenience in a way that is unmatched in any other solution. Using an individual's fingerprints, retinal scan, ear shape or facial structure to establish that individual's identity and unlock a door for them can ensure that only authorized people can get into a room. Biometrics provide this high level of security without creating excess inconvenience by forcing users to keep track of keys, key cards or other items that can be annoying to keep track of. However, biometric locks still require a strategic approach to deploy successfully.

Making the most of biometric lock systems depends on knowing exactly what these systems can accomplish now and what their limitations are. It is also key to recognize secondary things that need to be done when supporting biometric functions.

The reality of biometrics
Different types of biometric identification are more reliable, and more difficult to replicate, than others. Fingerprint scanners, for example, are often the most reliable from an equipment perspective because fingerprint scanners are pretty good, but fingerprints are also one of the easiest biometric identifiers for a thief to replicate. Retinas, on the other hand, are difficult to copy, but also somewhat unreliable to scan. They are, however, widely considered a good option for environments that need extremely tight security when fingerprinting is not a good option. Facial or ear scanning is not reliable enough, at least from a lock perspective to work. However, training security staff members to perform these types of recognition can go a long way toward protecting a facility.

Biometrics are not impossible to break, and they do not always scan perfectly, but scanning technology is getting better all the time and biometrics have significant value in high-security settings.

Considering secondary implications of biometric scanning
IT security is incredibly important if you are using biometrics. The data pertaining to an individual's DNA, fingerprints, retinal scans and other biometric identifiers has to be stored somewhere if locks are going to function properly. If hackers access this data it can create major problems because you can't reasonably change someone's biometric identifiers and your workers could be put at risk. It is imperative that you work with a security solution provider that understands these risks and has some security features built into the system.

Biometric lock systems have a lot of potential, but the cutting-edge solution model is still maturing. As a result, working with a locksmith that understands the full implications of using biometric scanning for security is vital to finding success.

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