Access control is something most organisations will need to consider at some time. Managing the movement of employees, customers, and visitors can be vital for security, privacy and health and safety. In some cases, it might even be required by law. There are already several effective access control methods readily available to most organisations, but few are quite as innovative, robust, and impressive as biometric scanners.

Types of access control

There are several types of access control systems that are commonly used in buildings, including key cards, pin codes, and biometric scanners. Each of these systems has its own advantages and disadvantages.

Key cards are probably the oldest and most common access control system. They’re simple to use and relatively cheap to maintain. But, access cards are easy to lose or damage and can be stolen and used by unauthorised individuals.

Pin codes are a step up from key cards in terms of security. They can’t be lost and are much more resilient to damage. Codes can also be changed regularly if necessary to increase security. They’re not perfect, though. Code locks rely on users memorising codes, can become a security weakness during staff turnover, and can be stolen or potentially guessed by unauthorised individuals.

Biometric scanners are the newest and most advanced type of access control system. They use a variety of physical characteristics, such as fingerprints, to identify authorised individuals. They’re more expensive initially, and maintaining the system may prove more costly. This makes them much more difficult to bypass than key cards or pin codes.

What are fingerprint access control systems, and how do they work?

As technology advances, more and more businesses turn to fingerprint access control systems to keep their buildings secure. Fingerprint access control is a security system that uses fingerprints to identify individuals, much like the functionality you find in most smartphones. When individuals attempt to enter a locked area, the system will scan their fingerprint and cross-referece it to a local or cloud database. If the fingerprint is a match, the person will be allowed to pass through the security barrier.

Three benefits of using fingerprint access control systems

Difficult to bypass

Unauthorised individuals will find it near impossible to access a restricted area while fingerprint identification controls are in place. The only way to bypass these controls is by replicating someone’s fingerprint — much harder than stealing a key card or guessing a pin code.

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Convenient

There’s no need to remember a code or carry around a key card. This makes them ideal for organisations with high staff turnover, as tech teams can easily add new employees to the system. With intelligent systems that use cloud-based software, access controls can be granted on a door-by-door basis, too. Equally, old team members can have their access removed instantly, removing the need to alter codes or requisition security cards.

Hygienic

Unlike key cards, which can be passed around, shared, and live in germ-ridden carry cases, fingerprint access control systems offer a much more hygienic solution with a single point of contact that is easily cleaned and covered in anti-microbial films. This is especially important in the current climate, where preventing the spread of viruses and bacteria is more important than ever.

Why fingerprints are a step forward in digital identification

Low-quality authentication is potentially harmful to individuals’ security, but when it is expanded up to the level of a firm or organisation, it becomes considerably more dangerous. Today, when a business is hacked or compromised, the penalties – which will most likely include both economic and reputation “punishment” – are expected to be severe. Companies must now insist on enhanced security and state-of-the-art access management.

While not all biometric scanners are built equal – the technologies included on phones, for example, have been criticised for failing once in a while – dedicated access control units undergo rigorous testing and certification processes to prove reliability. Some modern biometric readers can even check for the presence of blood flow in a finger to avoid being duped by fake or cloned fingerprints. Biometric technologies will play an essential part in the future of corporate security.

How to choose the right system for your business

Fingerprint biometric identification is far more sophisticated than old-fashioned methods like keys, swipe cards, PINs, and passwords for ease, convenience, and security. They’re a giant step forward in digital identification in accessing physical and virtual spaces.

When choosing a fingerprint access control system for your business, it’s essential to consider the level of security you need, the size of your premises and the number of restricted areas, and the number of employees or visitors you have daily.

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If you’re looking for a new way to keep your business safe from unauthorised entry, consider speaking to a member of our team today. Our engineers, designers, and tech-aficionados can help you plan, implement and maintain a wide range of security systems for homes and corporate spaces.

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