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How can biometric authentication increase security?

Biometric identification has a growing role in security. Physical characteristics are individualised, meaning each person’s unique biometric identity can be used to replace or augment traditional password systems, whether for computers and phones or to provide enhanced security to access control systems.

What is biometric data?

Biometrics are biological measurements (or physical characteristics) that can be used to identify individuals. For example, fingerprints and iris scanning, or images of the face for facial recognition. Biometrics are in place on a daily basis, with fingerprint access and Face ID for mobile phones, as well as being incorporated in e-Passports throughout the world.

How is biometric data used?

Once biometric data is obtained from a user, it is mapped and stored to allow future attempts at access. The data is usually encrypted and stored within the device or on a remote server.

Biometrics scanners are hardware used to capture a users’ biometric data for verification of identity, whether through fingerprints, facial recognition or iris scanning. Scans are then matched against the saved database to approve or deny access to the premises.

These devices are great tools to enhance the security of a premises, especially high-volume sites where hundreds of people are entering each day.

What are the benefits of biometrics authentication within security systems?

Difficult to steal or impersonate

Although many people have nightmares of having their fingers cut off and stolen, biometrics cannot be easily replicated or taken without authority, unlike more traditional methods of keys or proximity cards.

Multifactor verification

In premises where sensitive data/products are held, and enhanced security is required, such as laboratories, biometrics can also be used for multifactor verification. Biometric devices can be integrated with existing access control systems, with some devices housing built-in proximity readers. A system can be set up so that, after presenting their proximity card, for example, each user will need to scan their fingerprint to verify that they are who they claim to be.


Biometrics data cannot be lost or left at home, meaning each user quite literally has access in their hands at all times (depending on their access rights!). Facial recognition devices offer handsfree or long-distance recognition, meaning less time can be spent gaining access – users simply walk up to a device, which scans their face and allows (or denies) access within seconds.


Leading manufacturer Suprema provides biometric solutions globally and offer smart technology, using artificial intelligence to ensure the highest standards in facial recognition accuracy and speed.

Their newest release, the BioStation 3, even protects against facial spoofing. The device uses infrared to map the user’s face each time it is scanned, to build up a thorough set of biometric data. This means that the device will not allow unauthorised entry attempts, where an image is presented to the reader, as it will recognise that the image has no depth. The device also supports facial variations using dynamic biometric templates, meaning users may wear masks, glasses and change their hairstyle without having to worry about their access being denied.


Watch Systems Ltd provide access control solutions, including biometric devices across the West Midlands. Whether you are looking for a standalone solution, or to integrate into a larger access control system, our experienced team will put together a security design, tailored to your requirements. For more information, get in touch here for a no-obligation site survey.


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