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Better biometric authentication is in the palm of your hand

Better biometric authentication is in the palm of your hand

Fingerprint scanning to secure mobile phones and laptops has brought the technology into everyday use – but that doesn’t mean it is either the most secure or appropriate biometric solution.

Fingerprint scanning to secure mobile phones and laptops has brought the technology into everyday use – but that doesn’t mean it is either the most secure or appropriate biometric solution.

There is a broad range of techniques for biometric authentication. While fingerprint scanning is appropriate for its small sensor size and portability, other scanners may also measure body attributes such as the shape of the iris, geometry of the face, shape of the hand, speech patterns, and even a person’s gait.

Growing demand for mobile biometrics will drive market growth at nearly 41 per cent annually to 2022, according to Acuity Market Intelligence.

To be effective, biometrics solutions must be technologically robust, able to be embedded into a range of applications, and cost-effective enough to suit the application for which they are intended.

Physical access security solutions, for example, may be more expensive than fingerprint scanners but they may also be large enough to incorporate scanners that either offer higher accuracy or scan larger body parts.

A more accurate biometric

Fujitsu has been a leader in biometric security for more than two decades, offering a range of biometric scanners and a complete identity and access management (IAM) solution that has enabled businesses to use policies to secure and protect sensitive information, devices, and physical facilities.

For instance, one cutting-edge biometric technique establishes a user’s identity by reading the patterns of veins in their palm.

These patterns are unique to an individual and because they are inside a person’s body they are all but impossible to forge and, as such, a highly reliable form of authentication for even the most secure applications – including access to secure data centres, restricted facilities, remote sites, and more.

Palm vein scanners read around 5 million reference points and can confirm or deny identity within one second. This makes them the most accurate biometric technique on the market, with a false acceptance rate of less than 0.00001% (1 in 10 million) and a false rejection rate of 1 in 10,000.

The technology’s design also offers a number of appealing usage benefits. For example, palm scanners are small enough to function as standalone units, so they can be easily integrated into nearly any existing access-control environment.

Enrolment of users takes under 10 seconds and the optical scanning process doesn’t require users to touch the reader – increasing hygiene and reducing the chance of cross-contamination in high-traffic or high-risk environments.

Your hand is your key

While the sensitivity and effectiveness of biometric security is critical, its real value is determined by its use in a range of cases.

Physical access control is a natural use case for biometrics, both for physical door access control and access to secure storage lockers and similar facilities.

“Palm vein scanning is effective anywhere you want to physically protect entry,” Fujitsu Australia Limited national channels and distribution manager, Derek Walker says, “but it is equally as effective anywhere you have valuable data that you want to restrict access to.”

Broader usage depends on low-powered biometric readers that are effective and small enough to be incorporated in a range of other equipment. Fujitsu’s PalmSecure palm vein scanners meet this requirement by offering a range of form factors to suit every application.

They include PalmSecure ID Match – a multi-factor authentication (MFA) solution that combines palm vein reading with ID cards and badges – as well as the PalmSecure PSN900 modular unit and Windows 10-based Tablet P728.

Fujitsu is also building PalmSecure readers into its Lifebook range of laptops and Ultrabooks, and has PalmSecure-enabled computer mice that put palm scanning in the place where many users’ hands rest throughout their workdays.

The technology can easily be integrated into other applications. A tiny USB-connected palm vein reader allows integration with third-party products and the PalmSecure software development kit (SDK) allows application developers to integrate palm vein authentication into any application where user authentication is critical.

Reinventing authentication

The flexibility of PalmSecure has already seen it adopted in a range of customer environments. For example, cleaning services provider, Menzies Group, has installed the technology in 40 sites to track its 1200 employees’ working hours and automate payroll processes across hundreds of sites.

Broader uptake of the technology will allow palm vein scanning to become a regular part of the digital workflow and create significant new opportunities for integrators to offer customers significantly improved user authentication models.

The technology can be used to sign into desktops, laptops, and tablets, with a comprehensive IAM infrastructure ensuring identity information can be centrally managed using Microsoft Active Directory or other directory-services platforms.

Broad usage of PalmSecure-enabled mice, for example, would enable seamless continuous user authentication – a cutting-edge authentication method that quietly re-scans the user’s palm at regular intervals while they are working. This quickly detects a change of user and stops potential security breaches before they happen.

Biometric authentication has a bright future ahead of it, and Fujitsu is committed to ensuring PalmSecure becomes part of that future. Implemented correctly, better security truly is in your hands.

For further information, please contact Derek Walker (derek.walker@au.fujitsu.com).

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Tags biometricsIAMidentity and access managementIdentity And Access Management (IAM)Multi-factor authenticationbiometric authenticationMFAmulti-factor authentication (MFA)palmveinbiometrics solutionsvein scannermobile biometricspalmsecureFingerprint scanningPhysical access security solutions

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