Biometric access control | On a blurred background, a person presents their fingerprint which is overlaid by biometric data scanners

Biometrics explained

Biometrics are the measurable factors related to human characteristics. Biometric access control systems utilise unique physiological reference points to identify an individual; this could include a fingerprint, iris pattern, facial features, or DNA make-up. The identifiable characteristic data is mostly associated with security because biometric traits provide a higher, more secure level of authentication, where special characteristics are unique to the individual.

A traditional access card or tag could be given to someone else, lost, cloned, or stolen. Biometric data is exceptionally difficult to replicate, making it an attractive choice for high security access control systems.

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Advantages of biometric security

Identification using biometric characteristics is preferred over traditional passwords and PIN-based methods for various reasons. For example, a person is required to be physically present at the time of identification, preventing ‘buddy punching’ or membership sharing which are common terms used to describe an unauthorised person using another person’s valid card or fob to gain access to a restricted area. Identification based on biometric fingerprint scanning eradicates the need to remember a password or carry a secondary credential such as a card or fob. This means the risk of theft of cards or fobs and the need for costly replacements are eliminated.

How do ievo fingerprint readers work?

Simply put, by using advanced image analysing sensors, ievo readers take a detailed scan of your finger from the surface and subsurface levels of the skin, to capture a highly accurate digital image. Specific data from the image is converted into a unique digital template. This template is subsequently used for fingerprint identification. Providing a user presents a finger that matches a stored template, access will be granted and/or recorded. Moreover, the methods that ievo readers use to capture fingerprint data in template format cannot be reverse engineered to replicate your actual fingerprint. As a further additional layer of security, the ievo readers don’t store any of the template data, so in the event of theft or vandalism, fingerprints remain protected.

Innate individuality of credentials
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Seriously robust security protocols
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The best cutting-edge technology
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How reliable is biometric security?

Biometric data found in the fingerprint develops with the individual. Prints are naturally unique and provide reliable recognition points for identification. Once an individual develops a fingerprint that can provide enough biometric data (usually around 12 years of age), they should be able to enrol on a biometric system.

One of the core reasons fingerprints are a popular form of biometric security is that once fully formed, a fingerprint tends not to change until later in life. Most changes that do occur tend to be abrasions to the skin, distorting skin conditions, or loss of a digit. As a person ages, the skin on the fingerprint naturally starts to lose collagen, which results in a degradation of fingerprint definition. This can decrease the number of data points required for identification in an ievo template. While some ievo products offer a solution that can combat some of these instances, our sensors rely on data to be able to be fully effective.

Occasionally, there are some individuals who naturally have ‘problem fingerprints’ (meaning not enough data points are present for positive identification). In these cases, download our Problem Fingerprints guide for help and advice.

Biometric access control | Facial recognition mapping graphic overlaid on man's face

Facial recognition in access control

Facial recognition technology uses special cameras to analyse faces and create a digital representation or faceprint that is unique to each individual. The faceprint is then compared to the existing faces in the database to see if the person is recognised or not. As computing power has advanced in the last two decades, facial recognition has become commonplace in our lives. In airports, casinos, retail stores, and even in our mobile phones, facial recognition technology is analysing our features.

As an extremely fast, highly reliable, and fully touchless solution, facial recognition is ideal for access control in businesses, public buildings, and high security environments like banks and financial institutions.

Biometric access control | An ievo ultimate fingerprint reader mounted outdoors on a white wall in atmospheric light. Some light moisture covers the reader, showing that it is robust enough to function even in the rain

Next-generation access control

Learn more about ievo fingerprint and facial recognition readers today.