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Asia's corporates slow on biometrics uptake: Unisys

Ross O. Storey | Oct. 10, 2008
Biometrics seen by Unisys as ideal for data centre and critical IT system protection

Dave Chadwick, senior solutions advisor, identity and biometrics, Unisys

SINGAPORE, 10 OCTOBER 2008 - Although biometrics is the most secure form of identification, the corporate world in Asia has been slow to adopt it to protect critical information in data centres and to more efficiently restrict access to enterprise IT systems.

This is despite the increasing availability of biometrics security systems including fingerprint, voice pattern recognition, 3D face recognition, vein pattern analysis, and even ear print pattern identification.

Ears are known as the fingerprints of the face, and ear print patterns are quite unique, said Dave Chadwick, senior solutions advisor, identity and biometrics, for Unisys. There is even vein pattern analysis, which uses infrared light to highlight the veins on the back of the hand or the back of one finger - which are also nearly as unique as fingerprints.

Unisys is a worldwide information technology consulting services and solutions company which is also one of the worlds top 20 RFID vendors.

Chadwick is also a member of the Biometrics Institute Technical Committee, and was speaking in Singapore, after the Govware Conference (October 6 7) which had the theme Positive Security: Empowering Business Models of the Future and was presented by Singapores Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).

Responsible and ethical

The Biometrics Institute - has developed voluntary standards for the use of the technology, including regular audits and enforcing information privacy practices. It promotes the technologys responsible and ethical use. The adoption of international standards has helped to advance e-ID protection globally.

Chadwick said that in the past five years there has been a huge magnitude in improvement in biometrics technology, but the corporate world was generally still struggling with the cost-benefit analysis.

He said that biometrics systems would be perfect to protect data centres, to restrict access to critical information technology facilities, and to tightly control system administrator identities and their sensitive activities. Some commercial industries were also using biometrics for customer verification.

Current infrastructure configurations such as service oriented architecture and open source software enabled biometrics technologies and readers to be safely connected to systems without interfering with IT operability.

Traditional security systems like usernames and passwords are now only the first line, the first factor, of defense. The average person today has about 28 passwords and too many users keep passwords on sticky labels stuck to computer monitors, or write their PIN numbers on their bank cards.

These traditional systems rely on something you have, not who you are, but biometrics systems anchor your identity and are part of who you are. You can lose your ID card, or have it stolen, but no one can steal your fingerprints, your iris, your hands or your ears.


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