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Suprema partner Entertech embeds HID card tech into fingerprint reader

Suprema partner Entertech embeds HID card tech into fingerprint reader

Editor / Provider: Entertech Systems | Updated: 4/10/2013 | Article type: Security 50

Suprema partnered with Entertech Systems announced the launch of the next generation access control BioEntry W biometric reader embedded with HID Global's iCLASS SE smart card technologies and HID Prox Credentials. Available for the North America market, Suprema's new generation reader with Genuine HID Technology is now offered by Entertech Systems.

"At Entertech Systems, we believe strongly that technology integration milestones like this with leading organizations such as HID are essential in providing the latest smart card and biometrics for multi-factor authentication, ensuring customers have more options to address their particular access management needs," said Rob Douglas, CEO of Entertech Systems. "The new Suprema BioEntry W biometric reader integrated with HID Prox and iCLASS SE offers customers a significant step forward in having further assurance of “true identity” for access control in both indoor and outdoor applications."

"HID Global is committed to providing the latest innovations in the market and increasing customer value through partner solutions that extend the use of Genuine HID Technology," said Kerry Reid, VP of HID Connect with HID Global. "The BioEntry W from Suprema and Entertech Systems is a robust biometric reader that is ideal for customers seeking access control systems in outdoor environments using our next generation iCLASS SE smart card or existing HID Prox technologies."

US university pilots biometric access at dining hall

US university pilots biometric access at dining hall

Editor / Provider: Natural Security | Updated: 4/9/2013 | Article type: Education

Natural Security (NS) announced a new partnership with Spartan Shops, the retail and residential dining service provider for San Jose State University (SJSU) in California, to implement biometric authentication at the university's residential dining hall. Biometric authentication used for the SJSU dining hall that receives up to 7,000 customers a day, combines mid-range contactless technology. Biometric information is stored on student's mobile phones, while fingerprint readers are employed at the hall entrance. The project is to start in July this year.

“With almost 2,500 unlimited-entry meal plan members at the university, we needed a more efficient system for authenticating students to access to the residential dining hall,” said Brian Mitchler from Spartan Shops. “The NS authentication method improves security and will allow us to monitor access more effectively, improving internal processes.”

Students will be able to enter the dining hall by simply placing a finger on a biometric reader situated at the entrance and without the need to handle or expose their personal device. The end-user biometric data is only stored in the personal device the user carries so it is always under their control.

 “As each device contains the students' unique biometric information it cannot be used by anyone else,” said Cedric Hozanne, CEO at Natural Security. “This removes many of the usual issues surrounding security, for example impersonation, because of loss or theft.”

The project aims to evaluate the effectiveness of the technology and collect feedback on usage experiences from the participants to feed into future projects. Following a successful trial the new system will be rolled out to all 3,000 students accessing the residential dining hall. This same method of authentication may also be extended to other university areas such as access to premises, access to online resources or even transport.

Belgian and Dutch ports entrust security to biometric smart cards

Belgian and Dutch ports entrust security to biometric smart cards

Editor / Provider: Lumidigm, Ingersoll Rand | Updated: 3/28/2013 | Article type: Infrastructure

Under the International Maritime Organization's International Code for the Security of Ships and of Port Facilities, Belgian and Dutch seaports have turned to smart cards and biometric systems to help track access by employees and visitors across private terminals. Port of Antwerp and Zeebrugge in Belgium recently replaced its old biometric system at registration stations with Lumidigm multispectral imaging fingerprint readers. The Port of Antwerp is Europe's second largest port, while Zeebrugge is the central port for Europe's automotive industry and has the largest liquefied natural gas terminal complex in Europe. Alfapass, the provider of security smart card system at the ports, is in the process of enrolling 17,000 truck drivers and 10,000 longshoremen at the two ports on the new system.

The Port of Antwerp has been using a biometric system since 2005, but the former system could not differentiate one person from another at the required level of certainty and security and had high FAR, explained Piet Hadermann, Operations Manager for Alfapass. One major access control requirement at the port was the efficient identification of individuals that travel between multiple port facilities.

The solution was a single ID card that covers all facilities. Therefore, visitors to both Belgian ports carry an Alfapass smart card that includes the visitor's biometric template. By checking and verifying the information stored on the card, facility personnel can assure that the card is being presented by its rightful owner. Alfapass enrolls user cards with two fingerprints. When a card is lost or stolen, or the person no longer works for the company, the card is automatically blocked from all participating facilities. All port visitors are now being enrolled with the Lumidigm fingerprint readers. The readers are placed and used at port registration offices and administrative kiosks located at the “gate in” for truck drivers and elsewhere.

Previously, The Port of Antwerp deployed a hand geometry access control system from Ingersoll Rand that recognizes a person hand's 3D features. The system consisted of 71 individual terminals, and issued more than 8,000 credentials. RFID smart cards stored employee information, work experience, access restrictions and biometric identifier. The system's open architecture design enabled terminals to integrate additional security and safety technologies, such as video surveillance and time-and-attendance. In addition, a web-based card management system was used to carry out the credentialing process across the terminals and other systems.

In 1998, a similar Ingersoll system was installed in Port of Rotterdam in Netherlands. As one of Europe's largest container ports, the port required an access control system that was robust enough to withstand the North Sea's severe weather conditions, easy for truckers and stevedores to use, fraud-proof, portable and flexible enough to integrate with the port's logistics systems. Ruggedized biometric readers were installed at the port's gates, plants, loading docks, staging areas and other critical entry points to meet this demand.

Ingersoll outlined the hand geometry system was chosen because of its automatic identification capacity, and because truck drivers refused to use iris recognition. The system was also more accurate than fingerprint recognition and offered lower FAR when used en masse, claimed Ingersoll. Drivers were issued smart cards that were embedded with chips that contained their personal personal identification, company information and a biometric template of the driver's left hand. Implementation of the system has helped the Dutch port avoid costly transport delays while ensuring security.


Precise Biometrics to raise capital and announces partnership with Verizon

Precise Biometrics to raise capital and announces partnership with Verizon

Editor / Provider: Precise Biometrics | Updated: 3/25/2013 | Article type: Security 50

- The Board of Directors of Precise Biometrics has decided to propose the AGM on April 23, 2013 to decide to undertake a rights issue with preferential rights for Precise Biometrics' shareholders of approximately US$8.5 million (SEK 55 million).

-The rights issue is implemented to finance increased working capital due to new orders, develop Tactivo through increased resources for production, product development and sales and marketing efforts worldwide.The rights issue is guaranteed up to a level of 70% of the rights issue, approximately $6.0 million.

- The terms and conditions for the rights issue, including the subscription price and ratio basis, will be established and announced on April 29, 2013.

- Provided that the AGM on April 23, 2013 resolves the rights issue in accordance with the Board of Directors' proposal, the subscription period will run from May 10 – 24, 2013.

Precise Biometrics has started off 2013 very strongly.

Both of its two business areas have won milestone orders which will form the basis of the coming years.

The business area IAM won a contract of providing the Company's fingerprint algorithms for one of the largest providers of financial information in the world based in the US. This is a significant testament to the quality and performance of the license business. As such the Company considers Precise Biometrics very well positioned for the very large market which lies ahead, when fingerprint sensors will become standard components in all SmartPhones and Tablets starting already in 2013.

The other important milestone was that one of the largest Mobile Operators in the US placed an initial order of 5,000 Tactivos as part of a sales drive towards their Government and Enterprise customers. The Company's expectations are that new forthcoming policies will require US Government employees and Contractors to use card readers when accessing information, mail etc. from their mobile devices.

In light of these positive developments and considering that Precise Biometrics repaid the credit facility in January and no longer have any debt, the Company wishes to ensure that it has sufficient working capital available to continue to build upon and pace the current momentum.

This has resulted in initial orders from companies and governments in the international market. Furthermore, a number of civil and military authorities in the U.S. initiated pilot projects based on Tactivo, which will lead to more orders in the future. The order from one of the largest mobile operators in March confirms the strong interest that exists for Tactivo.

Based on this, Precise Biometrics have made additional investments in product development Tactivo for Android. Precise Biometrics have to make sure that they cover the biggest mobile platforms, teamed with Sony Mobile. Thus represents Tactivo the new and powerful business area as they have expected, in addition to their licensing activities they engaged in the business area IAM.

The business area IAM has had a strong start to 2013 with the prestigious order from a leading US-based provider of financial information services. With the order, Precise Biometrics expect the business area IAM going to take advantage of the ongoing initiatives in the mobile sector where fingerprint sensors are built into smartphones and tablets.

As earlier announced, one of the largest mobile operators in the US has placed an initial order of 5,000 Tactivo units for March delivery.

CEO & President of Precise Biometrics, Thomas Marschall says: “We are very excited about this relationship and look forward to working closely with Verizon to develop this further.” Precise Biometrics may be required to disclose the information provided herein pursuant to the Securities Markets Act. /P>

Suprema grew 25% in 2012, revenue surpassed $47M

Suprema grew 25% in 2012, revenue surpassed $47M

Editor / Provider: Suprema | Updated: 3/7/2013 | Article type: Security 50

Suprema announces that its 2012 revenue rose 25% year-on-year growth and its net profit increased 148.6% from the previous year.

For the year ended 31 December 2012, the company, which makes products ranging from biometric security systems to e-passport readers and fingerprint live scanning systems, reported US$ 47.72 million (KRW 51.9 billion) in global sales which increased 25% from 2011.

The strong growth of biometric security systems over the company's worldwide sales channel made major contribution to the company's success and its profit topped by newly-launched technologies such as face recognition and surging demand on its identification solution from government sectors. While the Suprema's fingerprint module business holds its top position in international markets, the company's access control business also showed strong growth by introducing a number of groundbreaking technologies in biometrics.

In the coming year, Suprema has brighter outlook for introducing next-generation, fully integrated physical security platform and expanding its public ID solution business including live scanners and passport readers, to fast-growing government sectors.

Since its founding in 2000, Suprema has recorded double-digit growth for 12 consecutive years and its current market capital is soaring above US$ 285 million (KRW 310 billion).

What it means to be a VAR

What it means to be a VAR

Editor / Provider: Jill Lai, a&s International | Updated: 2/26/2013 | Article type: Hot Topics

Prospects and margins for distributors have been less than ideal in recent years. Some, however, are finding new ways to survive and thrive by adding value to their products, systems and services. a&s talks to neaMetrics, a South African VAR of Korean biometric solution provider Suprema, about its strategy in a fiercely competitive market.

neaMetrics, established in 2004, offers various software-based solutions, including those for drivers' licenses, homeland security, criminal clearance and more. In its early stage of development, its products were bundled with expensive, market-dominating hardware. To make its solutions more accessible in the South African market, neaMetrics started to look for more affordable products that deliver similar quality. Suprema's products form the largest portion of neaMetrics' distribution portfolio, for the company's willingness to understand specific customer needs and to work together to achieve desirable results.

neaMetrics is a technology-driven distribution company with strong software development skills. It has a support service team, enabling it to deliver tailored turnkey solutions. “We opted to work with our partners to deliver solutions that seamlessly integrate video management with our access and time/attendance portfolio,” said Walter Rautentbach, MD. “This ensures that we don't have to break the supply chain through pure referrals and enables us to deliver on end-user needs.”

On Guard
South Africa is an early adopter of fingerprint technology, with large-scale deployments since the 1990s, as the country has been long plagued with public-security problems. Guarding services are widely accepted, and sales revenues nearly double every year. The utilization of fingerprints for time/attendance and access control in the private sector has also shown exceptional growth over the past decade. Although fingerprints have been utilized for criminal clearance in the guarding and security sectors for many years, they had never been sufficiently cost-effective for time/attendance and operational management.

Based on market-specific requirements, the company developed a solution that utilizes Suprema's hardware and rostering software, and is packaged as a complete solution, which effectively paid for itself within a year of implementation. Since its introduction in 2011, the company has seen deployment growth exceeding 200 percent annually.

Mobile Management
Time/attendance can be a real hassle for corporations that manage guards, construction sites and mine fields, as personnel can scatter across large premises and require different skills or certain certificates. The often harsh environmental conditions and occasional “buddy punching” make it even more difficult to manage with generic time/attendance solutions. This created an opportunity for neaMetrics. All aspects of user experience were considered thoroughly, including the number of people who would use it and the critical environments (outdoors, limited power supplies) where the time/attendance system would operate under. The customized system offers mobility to Suprema's fingerprint terminal in an IP65-rated housing, making it ideal for outdoor or harsh-environment wear and tear.

To address power issues, the system utilizes a 4000 mAH, 15V DC, lithium-ion battery, for an operational time up to 16 hours and a standby time up to 20 hours. Its voltage operating range of 12 to 15V DC makes it rechargeable with a car battery charger. The system enables authentication with any combination of fingerprint, PIN and card. Weighing 1.82 kilograms, the system is light and portable, and the TCP/IP platform along with Wi-Fi or GPRS allows operators to communicate wirelessly and gather records as needed.

Now, neaMetrics has made the unit available internationally through Suprema's network of distribution partners, adding earning potential and value back to its technology partner.

BSIA guide on retail access control

BSIA guide on retail access control

Editor / Provider: BSIA | Updated: 2/19/2013 | Article type: Tech Corner

What is access control?
Access control provides the ability to control, monitor and restrict the movement of people, assets or vehicles in, out and around a building or site.

Access control is essential in the protection of people and assets and has the additional benefit of being expanded from controlling, for example, a single entrance door to a large integrated security network.

There are also huge potentials in terms of integrating access control with other systems, such as CCTV and intruder alarms, allowing for cost savings and greater security benefits.

What risks does the retail sector face and how can these be countered by access control?
The retail sector faces a variety of threats all year round, including shoplifting, organized retail crime and dishonest staff, and these risks can increase significantly during busy shopping periods such as seasonal sales.

Recently, the BSIA carried out a survey of its members to discover the trends in retail security over the last year. Over 50% of respondents felt that the use of private security measures in retail had increased over the past twelve months, with a further 65% anticipating this use to increase over the course of the next year.

Members perceived the biggest threat to retailers to be shoplifting and petty theft, with theft by employees following in second. Online theft and armed robberies were also considered to be risks.

Retail environments are full of valuable assets, both on the shop floor and in the stock room. Access control systems are all designed to permit access only to people with the necessary authority to enter a particular area, ensuring that goods and people are protected and helping to manage known or anticipated threats.

Generally, systems are comprised of three main components:
1. The physical barrier – to physically restrict access to a building or area. This can be achieved through methods such as:
- Doors – secured by either a magnetic or strike lock, or can be revolving or sliding.
- Turnstiles and speedgates – designed to limit access to one person per identification device.

2. The identification device – there are a number of different technologies available to identify users of an access control system, including:
- A proximity card and reader via Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID: these cards can be programmed to work at a short or long read range
- A smart card and reader
- A swipe card and reader
- PIN pads
- Biometric devices such as fingerprint or iris scanning

3. The door controller and software – these are at the heart of the access control system and are used to decide who can gain access through which entry point and at what time of the day are they permitted. These can vary depending on the size of the system and how many readers or sites you are trying to control from one point. Some of the options include:
- A stand-alone door controller linked to a single door with no software
- A number of door controllers all linked together to a single PC to control one site
- A number of sites all interlinked together over a wide network area The added benefits of access control

Retail environments often incorporate large numbers of staff working varied shift patterns. Access control systems can offer a wide range of benefits, including Human Resource management and integrated security systems.

Time and attendance
Retail security does not necessarily just offer protection for the shop floor itself, but can encompass all stages of the supply chain – including staff offices, warehouses and even the delivery process. Naturally, various different employees and outside visitors are involved in these processes and access control systems can assist with staff management.

Badge/token technology can be used to record employee hours and monitor visitor movement within a specific site. If appropriate, these can be processed against working hours, applicable for both temporary and permanent staff – this can be useful for busy shopping periods when additional seasonal staff are employed temporarily. This can work in real time to feed transactions through to the company's payroll. Time and attendance systems also accurately help keep employers on the right side of the European Working Time regulations and manage holidays and absences effectively. Fast, accurate and easy-to-use, these systems are suitable for businesses employing just a few people, right up to large multinational companies.

Automatic Number Plate Recognition
To monitor the movement of vehicles around an area, CCTV-style cameras and computer software can be used to identify number plates of vehicles. Some systems can also store photographs of the driver and vehicle for subsequent analysis. This sophisticated software allows critical information to be passed to the police to assist in the pursuit, identification and capture of offenders should an incident occur. For example, if a shoplifter flees the scene of a crime via a vehicle, ANPR cameras situated around an area could help identify the criminal. Visual proof of parking offences with the corresponding time and date information is provided as evidence and to avoid disputes. Using a Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) link, monitors are then able to identify the owner of a vehicle and process the offence automatically.

Fire roll call
Health and safety is a key consideration for any business. Since retail environments involve multiple staff members with varying shift patterns, it can be difficult to keep track of all employees during an emergency. Fire roll call technology generates a report containing crucial information in relation to who is within the building and potentially where they are. This software operates via the access control smart card or fob that an employee uses to gain access to or exit a building. In the event of an emergency, the fire roll-call software alerts occupants to the emergency whilst simultaneously activating the report at a safe pre-determined remote point.

Please note: In order for the fire roll call software to effectively carry out its function, employees and visitors must always present their card or badge. The use of smart card or RFID controlled turnstiles can help in this situation.

Integrated security systems
For maximum security, retail environments can benefit from a fully integrated access control system with CCTV, intruder alarms, fire detection and building management systems. One way to attain this is by adopting the use of Internet Protocol (IP) technology, which allows these systems to communicate with each other to maximize their effectiveness. Separate access control and intruder alarm systems, for example, could allow an employee to access an area that is set with an alarm.

However, unless the employee has the authority to unset the system, the access would result in a false alarm being activated – potentially causing panic in a retail environment. An effectively integrated system would recognize that the user does not have the authority to unset the system, so would not allow them in the area to begin with.

Safran/Morpho to provide biometric authentication to State Bank of India

Safran/Morpho to provide biometric authentication to State Bank of India

Editor / Provider: Safran/Morpho | Updated: 2/18/2013 | Article type: Security 50

During the official visit of French President, Francois Hollande to India, Morpho (Safran) through its Indian subsidiary Smart Chip, signed an agreement with the State Bank of India for the provision and maintenance of a biometric authentication solution. The agreement was signed yesterday in New Delhi by N Jambunathan, Chief GM, State Bank of India and Sanjeev Shriya, MD of Smart Chip, in the presence of French President Fransois Hollande and Jean-Paul Herteman, Chairman and CEO of Safran.

Under this agreement, Smart Chip will implement a biometric authentication solution comprising fingerprint sensors and biometric matching software to verify the State Bank of India's employee credentials before granting them access to the Core Banking System of the bank. This solution will enhance security of the entire banking infrastructure.The system will be implemented across State Bank of India and its Associate Banks to provide biometric verification in over 21,000 branches.

"We are happy to embrace Morpho's biometric technology. The users of our core banking system are extremely confident of the enhanced system security with the introduction of biometric authentication," stated N. Jambunathan, Chief GM, State Bank of India.

"We are pleased to be selected once again to deploy our world-class biometric technology in the Indian banking market," said Sanjeev Shriya, MD of Smart Chip. "With Morpho's strong local presence, heavy investments and foundational role in the Aadhaar project, we believe that we are contributing significantly to the large-scale adoption of biometrics for the Indian market."

In addition to its involvement in the Aadhaar project, Morpho is also a leading provider of biometric terminals, smart cards and SIM cards in India. Morpho has also deployed more than 500 explosives, narcotics and chemical detectors across India to protect people and property in some of the most challenging environments.

Suprema receives final STQC certification for India's UID project

Suprema receives final STQC certification for India's UID project

Editor / Provider: Suprema | Updated: 2/15/2013 | Article type: Security 50

Suprema, a global supplier in biometrics and ID solutions, announced that the company's latest BioMini Plus(SFU500) fingerprint scanner tested in full compliance and received final certification from the Government of India's STQC (Standardization Testing & Quality Certification) for the country's UID (Unique ID, India's next generation national ID) based fingerprint authentication demands. The STQC certification is an essential requirement for procurements of the UID project and ensures devices to satisfy API specifications presented by UIDAI. The STQC provides quality assurance services in IT and electronics through its countrywide network of laboratories.

BioMini Plus is a compact fingerprint scanner which provides range-leading capture speed and clear image quality by using the company's advanced optical image processing technology. Along with its recently-added STQC certification, the device has been approved by several global standards including FBI PIV-IQS and FIPS 201 certifications.

The BioMini Plus also features Suprema's unique ‘hybrid type' live finger detection (LFD) technology. "The technology is based on the fact that dynamic image characteristics of the fake fingers from the scanner can be distinguished from those of live fingers. By the advanced analysis algorithm to catch the abnormalities in dynamic changing pattern of fingerprints images and static features such as ridge patterns and local intensity distribution, fake fingers are clearly distinguished from those of live fingers. This new LFD technology provides effective solution to protect the fingerprint system from attack via fake fingerprints," said Brian Song, CTO at Suprema.

"BioMini Plus has been specially developed to meet high-level requirements for India's UID authentication project which demands fast and high quality image capturing and extra durability in India's harsh environments. The device also features dust and waterproof rugged structure with IP65 level protection on its sensor surface. Key technology in BioMini Plus is based on our in-depth expertise in biometrics and image processing as well as our years of experience in large-scale government and public projects," Song added.

With the acquisition of final STQC certification and the company's hands-on expertise from UID Enrollment and NPR projects in India, Suprema plans to continue its success on upcoming UID Authentication projects in India. In recent years, Suprema's live scanners have been chosen for several worldwide civil and criminal ID projects in the United States, India, Brazil, EU and African countries.

Multifactor authentication provides the pieces for peace of mind

Multifactor authentication provides the pieces for peace of mind

Editor / Provider: Tevin Wang, a&s International | Updated: 2/8/2013 | Article type: Tech Corner

According to Report Linker, the multifactor authentication market is expected to grow 17.3 percent from 2012 to 2017 to a market worth US$5.5 million. Something we have indeed removes the problem of forgetting something we know, but now the object(s) must be with the user at the time that he or she wants to be authenticated.

"In the realm of physical security, the failures of companies and governments to protect our private information (personal and financial) are a lesson that what once served as sufficient security (username and password) is no longer acceptable. We have come to accept that card access provides a low level of security," said Adam Shane, Senior Systems Design Architect, Amag Technology (a G4S Technology company). "Cards can be duplicated, spoofed, modified or stolen. There is nothing that validates the authenticity of the card, nothing that binds the card to its owner, and in some cases, nothing to verify the issuer still trusts the owner to have the card."

The driving factor behind multifactor authentication is to increase the security level in an organization and only allow entry for permissible personnel, said John Davies, MD of TDSi. Multifactor authentication is becoming more important because more systems are connected over the Internet and are exposed to huge numbers of people.

Aside from existing compliance and regulatory pushes, the cloud is another driver for deploying multifactor authentication. "Traditional barriers that have been deployed to secure IT systems, such as firewalls, are becoming less relevant due to a growing move toward the cloud, which means an increasing amount of company data no longer resides on company networks," said Julian Lovelock, VP of Product Marketing for Identity Assurance, HID Global (an Assa Abloy company). "Traditionally, enterprises have stored key IT resources behind a firewall on corporate servers, or in a ‘walled garden.' But, with the rapid growth of the remote workforce, the time and effort enterprises have put into reinforcing that ‘wall' have seemingly been wasted, as more data begins to reside outside of the corporate network. All of these trends are leading toward a model in which organizations focus on protecting individual resources with strong authentication, as opposed to simply protecting the wall."

Chris Cardell, CEO of SyferLock Technology, agreed. Megatrends, such as the emergence of cloud computing, server and desktop virtualization, the proliferation of mobile technologies and bring-your-own-device possibilities, the increase in employees requiring remote access, and the increased use of social networking in the work environment, have created new vulnerabilities and risks for companies. "Users expect to be able to access information from virtually anywhere via the Internet and mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets, and that means it is harder than ever for IT and security executives to ensure that all the organization's information assets are protected," Cardell said.

Growth Verticals
Growth verticals for multifactor authentication include hospitals, banks, airports, data centers, large corporations, IT server rooms, universities, research labs, government departments and other organizations working with sensitive materials such as defense. "In some industries such as health care and financial services, the emergence or evolution of regulatory requirements is forcing even more stringent implementation for strong authentication. For instance, in the U.S., health care organizations must be compliant with the health insurance portability and accountability act (HIPAA). Relying solely on usernames and passwords will no longer be sufficient for secure access to data, particularly sensitive information such as patient records," Cardell said.

The US government has also mandated that access to physical and cyber assets in the executive branch requires use of a personal identity verification (PIV) card, Shane said. "This card supporting PKI validation is federated and therefore trusted across all agencies, and supports multifactor authentication (credential, PIN and biometric). Not all systems will be upgraded to support this high-end authentication token as PIV cards can cost the US government about $100 per person and that does not include the regular maintenance overheads. But progress is being made."

Rick Focke, Senior Product Manager at Software House (a Tyco Security Products company) is optimistic about the retrofitting projects and potentials of biometric based solutions. “The US federal government is a large market and one where the need for upgrades and additional solutions are still needed. In this market and in others, as installation volumes rise, costs should begin to decrease.”

The increase in employees, contractors and e-commerce customers requiring secure access, both remote and on premise, to computers, networks and sensitive information are also drivers in the demand for stronger multifactor authentication approaches. For instance, multifactor authentication adoption in banks in the U.S. is not mandated, but more customers in this market are moving to more secure solutions, Shane said. "We see this as a general trend. There are many beneficial reasons to move to strong authentication such as, to reduce financial losses from crime or fraud, improve auditing capabilities (non-repudiation), reduce cyber espionage and terrorism incidents, improve public relations, and the list goes on."

Complex and Costly?
Cost and usability are perhaps the two greatest concerns from enterprises/end user when implementing multifactor authentication solutions. "Adding biometric authentication for identity binding requires not only a biometric capture device at every terminal, but also requires licensing software to perform the biometric comparison," Shane said. "In biometric authentication, there are different ways to handle the process of binding an individual to a card or their credential. In one case, the user's biometric map or template is stored on a card or in a computer database. If the binding process requires users to present their card/credential first, for reading identification numbers (known as a 1:1 match), then costs can be kept minimal as the ID number is used to pull users' biometric data from the protected storage and then the biometric match confirms they are the person they claim to be. Similarly, the presentation of the credentials could release the biometric data directly from the card. However, in other systems, a person may simply provide one biometric identifier (fingerprint, iris or other) and the system will match this against all samples in the database. If the best match exceeds a threshold for acceptance then it is assumedthey are that person. This is called a 1:N match or a search." Compared with a one-to-one match, one-to-many comparisons are expensive.

Multifactor authentication solutions also require the appropriate enrollment or registration software to build the identity database and to manage the identities. "This software can be quite expensive also," Shane added. "We try to help customers understand that there is a continuum of solutions from relatively simple to very complex. Their budget, security concerns, regulatory requirements and consequences are all considered in guiding them to an appropriate solution."

In the case of biometric security, end users may also be worried about purchasing a third-party or bolt-on biometric system that requires two separate devices at the door and two separate software systems being used in parallel. "Another concern is the rate of technology change within biometrics today," said Philip Verner, Regional Sales Director for EMEA, CEM Systems (a Tyco Security Products company). "An emerging biometric technology today can go end-of-line within a considerably short period of time and this can make end users hesitant when choosing a biometric solution. When considering Iris technology, patent or licensing modules used can also be a significant barrier for customers."

Throughput and convenience are still issues for users. For example, a system that requires extra layers of authentication equals an extra delay for individuals trying to enter a facility or an area. "Customers want to avoid time delays or bottlenecks at the door where there is a high volume of staff throughput. Where it may not be convenient to use multifactor authentication all day, we recommend that PIN and/or biometric security be enabled during certain times, for example, at night time when the premises are closed," Verner said.

Usage Considerations
Whichever security model is chosen, the total cost of ownership is a key factor in determining the value of a solution. First of all, end users need to evaluate the cost to use and maintain a typical username and password logon security system. Weak security can result in direct and indirect costs and devastating consequences, due to leaking sensitive information and resources to unauthorized users and intruders. This is not to mention issues resulting from noncompliance to industry regulations.

When evaluating a multifactor solution as an alternative, the hardware, software, system integration, installation, deployment, maintenance and device replacement must all taken into the equation. Besides the direct costs of solution purchasing and software licensing, there can be hidden costs involved. For instance, customers might need to take into account the cost of distributing hardware: tokens, smart cards or biometric readers. Support costs must also be taken into account as there will likely be an increase of support calls after the initial deployment.

These procedures are especially critical for those who do not have a proper risk assessment, and therefore are not clear on what their most important data or assets are or where they resides.

Security only works if the end user follows the policy. Quick and convenient solutions that do not disrupt daily routines are perennial favorites. What is required from any multifactor authentication system is not only enhanced security level but also functionality.

While most corporations purchase systems based on their current needs, scalability is another important factor to consider when evaluating multifactor authentication solutions. Some multifactor authentication systems require significant management when dealing with a high number of users. For instance, tokens can become difficult and expensive to manage due to the fact that they need to be replaced every few years.

Bumpy Yet Rosy
Cost continues to be a challenge, as budgets are tight. "However, the US government is providing funding for HSPD-12 upgrades through the OMB 11-11 memorandum with a stipulation that the money must go to installing multifactor authentication solutions," Focke said.

Current industries that recognize the need for multifactor authentication solutions represent a small market for vendors. "The larger commercial market sometimes is challenged to see the ROI in multifactor authentication when all of the infrastructure costs are considered," Shane said.

The lack of awareness about such solutions requires extra effort on market education. "I think that one significant challenge is the incorrect assumption that the only viable option for multifactor authentication is a one-time password (OTP), and the belief that if the OTP option isn't suitable, there are no other alternatives. The reality is that is not true, and that there are a large number of alternatives," Lovelock said. “"we need to push past that point and educate people as to what those alternatives are, and at the same time highlighting the other key aspects of implementing authentication technologies such as, lower deployment and management costs, the enhanced level of security the technologies provide, and better usability for end users."

Despite these obstacles, the growth potential for the multifactor authentication market is substantial. Biometric readers such as fingerprint verification are gaining traction. "Some specialty applications are also coming to the forefront. For example, the health care market is looking at noncontact devices to help ensure readers remain clean and germ free. This non-contact solution utilizes iris, palm vein or facial recognition level of authentication only," Focke said.

As an expert in physical and logical access integration, HID Global predicts the proliferation of contactless device-based authentication and embedded credentials. "I think we will see technologies that grew up in the consumer space around machine profiling and device forensics being used in the corporate sector, as the consumerization of IT takes a greater foothold. I also believe that an increase in the availability of NFC-enabled devices will open up options for contactless device-based authentication," Lovelock said. "We will see growth in embedded credentials, where endpoint devices like laptops, tablets and phones will be able to securely store, and make credential readily available for use."

Also, software-based authentication solutions are emerging fast. "Because many of today's emerging use cases (e.g., employees and customers requiring secure remote access) are not conducive to legacy hardware-based authentication solutions, we believe that there will be increased demand for flexible, adaptable software-based authentication solutions."

"With increasing concerns about security and with new regulatory requirements, authentication is a growing industry. This growth has resulted in the emergence of a range of authentication solutions, including hard tokens, smart cards, biometrics, SMS text to cell phones, among others, competing in the market place," Cardell said.

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