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4 Essential Components of a Biometric Access Control System

biometric access - person using a fingerprint scanner on a door

As technology continues to evolve, so do security measures to keep up with it. Access control is now so much more than keys and key cards. Although there is still space for these methods, other methods are available too, like biometric access control. When considering biometric access control, here are some essential components of a biometric access control system:

1. Biometric Reader

Enhanced safety and higher levels of security are key features and benefits of biometric access control. In order for these to work, you need an access control reader that is more advanced than a standard keypad or sensor. The right type of biometric reader will depend on your system, facility, and needs, and each reader is unique to the biometric door system.

There are several electronic access control options. There are also biometric readers available that allow you to scan and process multiple types of biometric patterns. This allows for stricter access control in high-security areas and for more options when it comes to establishing varying levels of access. Multi-modal readers and layered authentication can help prevent biometric spoofing and further reduce the risk of unauthorized entry.

5 Common Types of Biometric Readers

In addition to other types of access control readers and combination readers, here are a few common types of biometric readers that are available:

1. Fingerprint Scans

In the biometric category, fingerprint entry is one of the most popular options. Biometric readers equipped with fingerprint scanners are capable of reading and recognizing fingerprint and vein patterns and associating them with a specific access credential. Tactile and immediate, fingerprint scans are a common and trusted biometric method for verification.

2. Palm Readers

Similar to fingerprint scans, palm readers are able to scan and identify palm veins and patterns to identify an individual. These are more involved than fingerprints, but are becoming more popular methods of biometric access control.

3. Retina Scans

Biometric readers equipped for retina scans use high-definition cameras to capture detailed images of a person’s iris to match intricate patterns of the eye. Iris recognition is a highly accurate form of biometric access control and is a good option for authenticating users in high-security, high-authorization situations.

4. Facial Recognition

Facial recognition technology has been integrated with automated temperature monitoring and visitor management solutions for contactless entry. Usually paired with cameras that have thermal detection capabilities, access is granted or denied based on whether someone’s face is in the database and has authorized entry.

It can also be used as a biometric access control method by itself or combined with other biometric methods or other access control methods. It is generally combined with another method for an added layer of security.

5. Voice Recognition

Biometric readers and sensors using voice recognition are programmed to recognize specific vocal patterns and/or commands for contactless, hands-free authorization. Although it can be used alone, it is usually paired with another method in access control applications.

2. Biometric Template and Matching Technology

Biometric readers alone are not enough. Similar to other access control methods, you need to be able to match credentials to specific people. With biometric access control, you need to set up the biometric template and match it to a specific person and their level of authorized access.

Just as you would associate a specific code, key, or keycard with a specific person, the same is true for fingerprints, retina scans, or whatever biometrics you are using. Facial patterns, vocal patterns, and body motions will still need to have some sort of record created, but often require slightly different recognition software than something that is more defined and consistent like an image of a fingerprint.

These biometric templates are stored in the database. When a scanner is activated, matching technology compares the biometric data collected from the reader or scanner to the biological data record in the database. Access is granted or denied based on whether there is a match and whether the person has the appropriate authorization.

3. Access Management and Reporting

Other essential components of a biometric access control system are management and reporting. Just as you would in other types of access control systems, you want to be able to update and manage access with your biometric access control system.

You should be able to update, change, or revoke access credentials when needed. You also want a system that sends alerts about unauthorized access attempts and provides reporting capabilities. Regularly reviewing credentials and being able to generate and review incident reports are ways to maintain access control systems and are important to your facility’s security.

4. Integration With Other Systems

Ease of use and scalability along with compatibility and integration with other systems are factors to consider in an access control system. Your biometric access control system should be able to integrate seamlessly with other security systems, like video surveillance, intercom systems, and more.

These systems can help with visitor management and access control at initial entry points and can also be useful when it comes to incident management. Being able to match security camera footage to a specific time and compare access logs with specific credentials can be invaluable in the event of an issue.

Upgrade Your Security With NEPPS

These are some essential components of a biometric access control system to keep in mind as you consider access control systems for your facility. If you are looking to add to or upgrade security for your facility, contact NEPPS at 1-800-736-1456.