Fingerprint Access Control: An Overview

By Ashley Davis
January 24, 2020

Every individual has their own unique features, in particular, their own unique fingerprint. Utilizing fingerprint access control technology allows businesses to build a secure workplace with regulated access to certain buildings or rooms. 


How to Install Fingerprint Access Control 

Any fingerprint access control system should be a quick and easy set up, as there are not a lot of moving parts or cameras involved. The actual installation process of a fingerprint recognition terminal is simple, with only a few steps necessary to connect a fingerprint reader to a specific door lock. It’s important that all employees know about a system such as this from the start so that before it officially becomes implemented, everyone has the chance to input their fingerprints into the database. This will allow for everything to be settled once the security system is fully functional.


Fingerprint Access Control: The Pros

Fingerprint security systems are a good option for companies to put into place because they tend to be difficult to hack, as there is not a password or any sort of data to input. Rather, fingerprint security systems utilize biometric technology. 


Biometric access control is a system that prevents intruders from accessing certain areas or resources by verifying them as unauthorized persons. Biometric authentication refers to the recognition of individuals by certain physical uniqueness, such as a fingerprint. Access control biometric fingerprint readers scan a person and match his or her biometric data with what is previously stored in the database. If the information matches, the individual can access the secured area or resources. Today, biometric access control systems are among the most secure authentication systems. 


It’s much harder to fake a physical attribute like a fingerprint than it is to fake an identity card, thus fingerprint security systems are arguably more secure. On a similar note, it’s impossible to guess a fingerprint pattern in the same way that an intruder or unwanted person could try to guess a code. Finally, individuals can’t misplace or forget a fingerprint in the same way that one might lose their security card or forget the passcode numbers. 


In the past, only high security offices or institutions used biometric access systems because the cost to install these systems was so high. Now, the cost of fingerprint security systems has dropped significantly and is roughly equal to the cost of a traditional card or password security system. Fingerprint access control systems also allow individuals to look back at a history log if needed. Because each entry is unique, unlike a passcode where every employee uses the same numbers, it is easy to go back and identify who entered a controlled area and when. 


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Fingerprint Access Control: The Cons

Fingerprint scanning is an attractive security measure for a lot of companies due to how easy and un-intimidating it is to place a finger on a scanner. It’s also incredibly accurate. However, the scanner can still be thrown off. For example, something as small as a paper cut on the finger a person uses for their authorization may deny a person access who should have been able to enter. There are easy ways to mitigate problems like this though, whether it be combining the fingerprint scan with a passcode or issuing access control cards as a backup. 


Having a backup option like one of these conventional identification methods is a good way to make security systems more reliable. In the event that someone does manage to steal identity information and gain access to an authorized user’s prints, that person would be able to trick the scanner. The issue here is that if someone’s prints are stollen, it’s not an option to get new ones in the same way that a person could get a new credit card or passcode. If someone steals fingerprints, that individual wouldn’t have the option to use their prints as an identification form until it was certain any copies had been destroyed. 


Biometric access systems can involve security measures besides fingerprint access control, such as iris recognition or palm recognition. Demand for these sectors is on the rise and both act as a restraint on the global fingerprint access control systems market. 


The Future of the Market

The demand for fingerprint access control is likely to increase in the future, as the system provides a secure and convenient access control solution for any company. According to Radiant Insights Inc., fingerprint access control systems market is estimated to be worth $4.4 billion by the year 2022. In 2014, this same market was valued at $2.5 billion. This industry growth is driven by the increased concerns of individuals and organizations regarding safety and security. The increasing threat of crime and terrorism has led to upgrades in security infrastructure everywhere.


The growth could also be attributed to the increase in the development of technology in electronic devices such as smartphones. Samsung and Apple both utilize fingerprint technology in their smartphones, thus making it a secure solution and making people comfortable with such technology. Smartphones are increasingly being used for business and monetary transactions and are expected to remain influential factors in the future of the market. Currently, fingerprint access control systems are common in commercial, government, health care, banking, and finance sectors. The demand is expected to increase in each of these application segments over the coming years. 


Currently, fingerprint access control industry is fairly consolidated, with the top three U.S. companies being Safran Group, 3M Cogent, and NEC Corporation. Other major players in the market include Diamond Fortress Technologies, Hitachi, and Anviz Global. Organizations everywhere seem to be seeking security measures that eliminate the use of passwords for authentication and instead utilize biometric solutions, particularly fingerprint security systems. 


Ashley Davis

Ashley is obsessed with words, Chinese food and all things tech.

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