Planning for Biometrics Scenarios

Biometrics encompasses a large field of research and there are more interesting scenarios where biometrics can be employed. Biometrics may have associated possible pitfall scenarios. Examples of interesting uses of biometrics are as follows:

  • High-Security Hosting – A high volume of people requiring access per second to a highly secure facility via a guarded access point would make it impossible even for a highly trained guard to remember every individual who should be allowed in the facility without unnecessary delays. In addition, any delay in communication from the facility officials to the security guards can result in a significant delays and loop holes in the security of the facility. For example, suppose that an employee gets fired and the employee is not allowed back in the building. This will require efficient communication to all the guards to avoid any breach in security. The situation can easy become impossible if more employees are fired and new employees are hired simultaneously. The most common entry access control is to computer-network hosting facilities. In computer-network hosting facilities, a hosting company offers rack space, network connections, environmental controls and power to clients who want to host services at such a facility instead of building it themselves. The hosting provider is likely to have a lot of clients and therefore it will have to prove physical security to its clients. It is usual that each client submits a list of people who are allowed to enter the facility on their behalf, updating that list as people are hired and as they leave the company. The hosting company is expected to only allow authorized persons into the facility. The options available to the hosting company are either keep a list of authorized persons and manually check each incoming person’s identification or utilise biometrics and let the system sort people out.
  • Other Entry Access The size of the organisation and the volume of people entering accessing the facilities will impact the decision processes for selecting a suitable security solution. Many organisations fail to plan and implement a highly secure access control for side entrances where security guards are not utilised. Side entrances and parking lots are a different matter entirely. Most side entrances and parking-lot elevators have no human supervision, so anyone who happens to know the door code from watching someone else punching it in (or has a proximity card picked up from the parking lot) would be able to gain access to the facility.

Researchers at Biometric Research Laboratory (BRL) within Namibia Biometric Systems (NBS) will continue to further highlight the most common use scenarios and some possible pitfall scenarios for biometrics in the next few articles.

More information on the implementation of biometrics based solutions can be requested from