Biometric access control: advantages and disadvantages

Biometric access control: advantages and disadvantages
Biometric identification systems are increasingly gaining popularity. According to the research firm MarketsandMarkets, biometric system market size is expected to increase from US$ 10.74 billion in 2015 to $32.73 billion by 2022, at a CAGR of 16.79 percent between 2016 and 2022.

Such rapid growth in this sector is inevitable, considering the effectiveness of the technology. But given the varied options available in biometrics, users are often at a loss when it comes to decide which technological variant to select. They are also not sure of the advantages and disadvantages of using biometrics.

In a recent blog post, the Spanish security company Fermax addressed this issue, giving an overview of the advantages and disadvantages of various types of biometric technology.

“Biometric identification is a type of access control system based on the user biological qualities,” Fermax said. “Within biometric system, there are different methods of recognition: fingerprint, face, eye or blood vessel.  Which are the advantages and disadvantages of the biometric access control systems?”

Beginning with a broad overview of the advantages of using biometric technologies, the blogpost noted that among the types of access control systems that are generally used, biometric identification allows the recognition of the user based on his or her biological qualities. Among the different types, biometric fingerprint has been in use since 1883, and is considered to be extremely reliable. It is also more efficient and cost effective compared to other forms of systems of biometrics.

Advantages of biometric technology
The single main advantage of using biometrics is that it provides extra security. Since fingerprints are unique and is an unrepeatable characteristic in each person, the level of security it offers is maximum. Additionally, the costs of maintaining it is also low. Once the installation is completed, there is minimum costs associated with its maintenance.

Also, there is no need for additional devices for entry. “With the fingerprint access control, there is no need for using traditional keys, switches and switching devices,” Fermax said. “Based on the identification of a unique characteristic of a person, it gets by without these elements, so that the situation of keys loss does not occur.”

Disadvantages of biometric technology
Despite the benefits, there are some cons that are associated with biometrics, according to Fermax. For instance, fingerprint system is less convenient in case the users change frequently, like in business centers of offices where new staff frequent.

Although the maintenance costs are low, the cost of installation is high compared to other access control systems. Finally, there have been some cases where biometric systems do not recognize certain people. “1 percent of the population cannot be identified through a fingerprint,” Fermax said. 
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