Biometrics Are Penetrating Fast
All over the place, especially after 9/11, both pilot and full scale
biometric deployments are popping up in various configurations and
markets. Facial recognition is being used to track lost children and
protection of medical data. Banks are now testing and deploying these
tools to identify customers and replace PIN codes at ATM's.
Companies are using it to secure employee access to buildings and/or
networks. Some already use voice scan technology for telephone account
access. The International Biometric Group forecasts growth rates of more than 70 percent for the next two years. I think they are right. Why? I now have access with my fingerprint to my W2K WS in the office. No more passwords for yours truly, except perhaps once a month.
The costs are of course the drawback. These devices are still somewhat
costly, especially if you have thousands of users. The other "stop"
are the civil liberties organizations that are fighting tooth and nail
against nationwide initiatives like facial recognition in airports.
In our own backyard here in Tampa this technology is also in a popular
nightclub area to catch offenders, and the press has been all over that.
The technology has the potential to be an extremely intrusive, privacy
invasive part of life.
And despite the high expectations regarding biometrics, there are a
series of pitfalls. The cost mentioned above is not the only thing.
We're talking lack of standardization, potential management headaches,
concerns about reliability and uneasiness about privacy concerns must
be handled correctly before this technology will really take off.
This stuff needs to be properly planned, implemented and managed.
Only then biometrics will deliver on reduced costs, better security
and more end-user convenience. So, I'm sure you want to know what
device I'm using. They are called UareU Pro and two of them are
about 360 bucks. It installs on a machine in about 3 minutes and
it has been recognizing my fingerprint logons without fail for more
than a week now. I almost wish we would sell this thing ourselves.
NT/W2K Enterprise Security Requires Careful Analysis
InfoWorld just mentioned a report just released by Gartner about
Enterprise Security. The upshot: Poorly planned security could
result in a case of too little or too much for many enterprises.
Many companies will underassess their risk, resulting in wasted
spending or preventable security incidents. Other companies could
overreact with bottom-up spending that fails to comprehend the
overall security needs of the company.
The Gartner report is called, "Prioritizing Security Efforts: Create
Structure from Disorder," and it claims that determining "security
threats and needs" starts with a careful examination of a company's
profile to help determine how and where to make the most effective
security investments. This includes such things as core information,
nature of the company's assets, the culture, key technologies, outside
relationships, and the existing security arrangements. Gartner offers
a "Security Rationalization Model" that will help get you there. The
complete report is available here:
If you are looking for a high-end, comprehensive, top-down security
solution that covers both technology and people, you should really
check out PentaSafe over here: