Are Biometric Access Control Systems More Secure Than Their Traditional Counterparts?

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90% of individuals believe biometric access control systems are more secure – and in many scenarios, they’re right.

From unlocking smartphones to replacing passwords for online banking, biometric technologies are working their way into our daily lives. The use of biometric locks is growing in popularity – though it is still bleeding edge technology whose adoption is slowed by security and tech issues. Nevertheless, current biometric access control options could have significant benefits for a range of organizations.

Biometric locks are effective but adoption is not yet widespread

Most biometric locks work by using thumbprints stored in a secure computer system, meaning that each authorized user’s print is linked to their account. More advanced systems make use of facial or retinal recognition technology, but this tech is somewhat less common. Unlike keys, which can be copied, it’s nearly impossible to effectively ‘fake out’ high-quality biometric systems (despite what you might see in the movies).

Despite these tangible benefits, the adoption of biometrics has been somewhat slow; most access control systems are equipped with more traditional (electronic or physical) locks. And some remain equipped with outdated technologies – such as locks that can easily be picked.

Despite the lack of widespread adoption, some organizations are currently utilizing the technology, especially those that need to maintain a particularly high level of security on a regular basis. These include state and federal government organizations, financial institutions, and technology and healthcare research companies. But it’s not just ultra-secure facilities that can make use of biometric tech – regular businesses and organizations, like schools, offices, and hospitality venues, can employ it too.

When it comes to biometric locking systems, quality is key

Biometric access control systems can provide a significant increase in security above traditional systems. However, for biometric systems to be more secure than their traditional counterparts, they need to be high-quality. According to 2014 tests conducted by Consumer Reports, low-quality systems can be unlocked with as little as a “well-placed kick or a small cordless drill.” The tests also revealed that the highest quality biometric systems equaled or far exceeded their best traditional counterparts. It’s essential to select only the highest-quality biometrics when considering them for your business.

Biometric tech is advancing, and it’s here to stay

Biometric tech is getting smarter (and safer) every day. From a new plan from U.S. Customs and Border Patrol to outfit Chicago O’Hare airport with biometric facial recognition and a new, fee-based biometric express airport security lane that’s been installed in 23 U.S. airports, to biometric-based access to online medical records, researchers are constantly developing ways that use our own bodies to keep us safer. A range of other organizations can also employ current biometric tech to boost security – as long they choose a high-quality option.

To learn more about how biometric access control technologies could help keep your business or organization safer, contact POM Technologies today at 212.688.2767 or through our online form for a free consultation.