Articles by Michel Roig
Modern working life has changed dramatically in the last decade. Driven by the growth of a millennial workforce, working behaviours and communications are more agile, digital and mobile than ever before. Remote working has risen 140% since 2005, a figure that will undoubtedly continue to rise in light of the pandemic. And its benefits are well studied: people are more productive, more motivated, and report a better work-life balance. The traditional office space and the digital collaborative working platforms we access both inside and outside of “work” have changed. In turn, there is a requirement for increasingly sophisticated access control and security products and systems. Today, and in the future, biometrics can play a crucial role in empowering workplaces both physically and digitally. Biometrics: accessing the right area Physical access and alarm systems are the first, and perhaps the most obvious area, biometrics is securing workplace access control – whether it’s to access office buildings, manufacturing floors, or even private rooms and safes. The humble key is easily lost and stolen, yet still represents 80% of door lock security The humble key is easily lost and stolen, yet still represents 80% of door lock security. And while digital solutions are gaining traction, PIN entry not only offers a poor UX, but requires close management, given its vulnerability to loss and misuse. Access fobs and badges pose similar challenges. Say, for example, an employee loses his badge to a restricted lab or highly confidential development centre on his commute - the security of the building is instantly compromised. By adding biometric authentication to cards or fobs, employers need no longer worry about them falling into the wrong hands. Without the correct user to authenticate, access to buildings, business operations and company files remain secure without needing to update any management systems. Moreover, by using this personal ‘on-device’ approach, employees no longer need to worry about the hygiene of shared sensors or PIN pads. Meanwhile, businesses can also avoid the technical and legal challenges of needing to manage a biometric database. A win-win. Touchless access Touch-free biometric solutions are another compelling way biometrics can not only improve security, but the user-experience and personalisation of security systems. Today, many touchless authentication solutions are combining the strong security of iris authentication with facial recognition to offer a compelling balance of security and convenience. This combination also means a reduction in false rejection due to physical changes, as it continues to authenticate even when wearing sunglasses, face masks or in bright sunlight, for example. Touchless solutions can bring benefits to numerous use cases and settings. Firstly, they can be utilised for mobile credential authentication on personal devices for seamless access to company servers, apps, or VPNs. It can also be implemented in traditional physical settings, offering the capability to alter access rights for personnel too. An R&D lab or healthcare setting is a good example here where restricted access to areas is in high demand, but would also benefit from a hands-free, seamless entry. OK computer Computers and laptops sit at the heart of the modern-day business set-up – whether at home, in the office, or on the move. In parallel, the evolution of modern working behaviour changes has seen the number of applications, cloud-based services and shared VPN drives used reach an all-time high. While the benefits are numerous, the extensive PIN and password management that accompanies this is problematic. 6 out of 10 users felt they had too many passwords For users, they are a source of frustration and anxiety – our research found 6 out of 10 felt they had too many passwords, and worried about forgetting them. In turn, many are all too familiar with the laborious process of setting a complex password, forgetting it, and needing to reset again after several failed attempts. While complex password requirements (such as requiring capitals, numbers, and special characters) mitigate risk in theory, in practice they create a major point of friction in the user experience and require significant management. From a business perspective, security and cost concerns are even greater. Microsoft reportedly spends around $12 million a month on forgotten passwords. Worryingly, workplace security breaches are increasing too, with 54% of IT professionals reporting an increase in phishing attacks according to a recent Mimecast report. Here, the end-user is usually the weakest link due to easily guessed passwords, complacency, and the use of the same password across multiple apps and accounts. Biometric authentication via unique personal devices such as USB dongles, or by utilising on-device authentication on a smartphone offers simple and frictionless way to increase security for the enterprise, free up IT teams and offer a better user experience to employees. FIDO-certified solutions are just one compelling solution supporting this. Plus, biometrics can also be used to authorise selected employees to access restricted areas of an organisation’s network, protecting confidentiality. Meanwhile, with 80% of smartphones now featuring some form of biometrics, utilising biometric authentication for smartphone applications in the workplace can also be done at a relatively low-cost investment. Getting personal With more flexible working in place, many workplaces now operate a ‘hot desk’ system or share devices such as printers between colleagues. This is another instance where biometrics can be used to simplify access to personalised settings or employee accounts. In the future, this could even be integrated into wider office use cases, such as personalising the air conditioning preference in meeting rooms or unlocking your personal settings on the coffee machine with a simple touch or gesture. More with multimodality Multimodality layers more than one type of biometric authentication to increase security and improve functionality and ease of use. For example, combining fingerprint with facial or iris to verify someone’s rights to access a secure manufacturing floor. While spoofing a fingerprint is challenging enough, spoofing a fingerprint and iris at the same time is near impossible. What’s more, by combining more than one modality, access control product manufacturers can reduce the false rejection rate (FRR) to deliver even smoother experiences. Secure, seamless authentication For enterprises, adding biometrics needn’t be a full ‘rip and replace’ solution. In fact, it can be added as a complement to existing solutions for added security without creating additional user friction. A biometric card or key fob can replace existing contactless access cards without big investments, or a biometric USB dongle can be added to email or VPN login to significantly enhance security, without infringing ease of use. A biometric card or key fob can replace existing contactless access cards without big investments To meet this demand, our access control service and solution partners are integrating biometrics for a wide range of physical and logical use cases. It’ll be unsurprising that locks and alarms are top of the list, but with the rise of widespread remote working over the last 10 years and the fight against PINs and passwords being led by organisations like FIDO, logical access for VPNs and work and time attendance, for example, are coming to the fore. Overall, biometrics can not only play a role in securing the modern workplace (wherever that may be), but can also give time and money back to IT and security teams. Most importantly, it can be a tool to empower workforces, driving efficiency and productivity through improved convenience and greater flexibility over how, when and where they work.
To meet the evolving design needs of the diverse and growing market for biometric access control, Fingerprint Cards AB (Fingerprints™) announces the expansion of its fingerprint authentication touch sensor portfolio for physical and logical access devices and applications. To enable greater choice and enhance product design, two additional colours are now available for the sensors in the access series, featuring additional white and silver versions alongside existing black option. The new colour range follows increasing market demand for design flexibility in a variety of access control use cases. Biometric authentication technology “As adoption of biometrics in access control grows, consumers and businesses alike are increasingly looking for solutions where slick design matches biometric smartness. The rise of smart home devices has boosted this demand, with consumers keen for biometric-enabled products to complement the design of their homes.” “With our extended colour range, we are enabling manufacturers to enhance new product ranges with greater design choice - all powered by market-leading biometric authentication technology,” comments Michel Roig, Senior VP of Payments and Access at Fingerprints. The access sensor series combines Fingerprints’ proven technology to make life simple for device makers and end users.
Fingerprint Cards AB (Fingerprints™) and Sentry Enterprises, a US-based manufacturer of converged biometric identification solutions, have entered into a global licence agreement for Fingerprints’ software platform for access, FPC-BEP, as well as a volume agreement for the FPC T-Shape® sensor module to incorporate into its SentryCard™ security credential. The agreement features converged biometric credentials for physical and logical access to address the increased market demand for enhanced security across every industry, including financial institutions, healthcare and pharmaceutical companies. Standalone biometric solutions The SentryCard replaces standalone biometric solutions while leveraging the existing infrastructure for physical access control, supporting multiple industry standard protocols. With enrolled fingerprint biometrics stored and then matched on the physical card, the SentryCard supports compliance with GDPR and CCPA regulations as well as broader privacy standards addressing the key concerns of security professionals. “We chose biometric technology from Fingerprints as it is the leading biometrics company with proven and cutting-edge biometric performance. Our collaboration is wide ranging from product design and integration to system design and manufacturing,” said Mark Bennett, President and CEO of Sentry Enterprises. Trusted biometric solutions More secure and seamless access and authentication methods are now in high demand “We are pleased to collaborate with Sentry Enterprises and to see our sensors and software continuing to gain new ground within the access control market, where there is an increased demand for secure, convenient and trusted biometric solutions,” said Michel Roig, SVP Business Line Payment & Access at Fingerprints. With PINs and passwords offering a poor user experience, as well as being susceptible to compromise, more secure and seamless access and authentication methods are now in high demand and on the agendas of large multinational enterprises to keep the workplace safe in a more convenient and cost-effective way, both for physical access and to login to corporate systems and applications. Personal security credentials Biometrics can not only play a role in securing the modern workplace, but can also improve convenience, saving time and giving employees greater flexibility over how, when and where they work. Remote working is a trend that has accelerated in recent times. Also, in the wake of the pandemic, many people want to avoid touching surfaces in public environments as far as possible. Personal security credentials such as SentryCard offer a hygienic and convenient way of authenticating oneself. Sentry’s first-of-its-kind converged biometric credential launched in August and Sentry Enterprises will make its SentryCard generally available in Q4 2020.
To meet the evolving design needs of the diverse and growing market for biometric access control solutions, the globally renowned biometrics company, Fingerprint Cards AB (Fingerprints) has announced the expansion its fingerprint authentication touch sensor portfolio for physical and logical access devices and applications. FPC1025 sensor access module To enable maximum flexibility in product design, the new FPC1025 sensor version from Fingerprints has a smaller footprint than the other models in the series. The FPC1025 sensor has also been optimised for access control devices where every millimetre counts. This is the fourth addition to Fingerprints’ growing access control solutions portfolio, which focuses on offering high performance biometrics with the lowest power consumption and enabling a variety of form factors. Expansion of biometric solutions portfolio Demand for biometrics in access control solutions is expanding and diversifying" “Demand for biometrics in access control solutions is expanding and diversifying. With the further expansion of our biometrics solutions portfolio, we are enabling those with even tighter design requirements to enhance new products with market-renowned biometric authentication technology,” said Michel Roig, Senior VP of Payments and Access at Fingerprints. Michel Roig adds, “By leveraging our expertise from the mobile world, we’re committed to tailoring our solutions to meet the power, cost and design challenges of the latest physical and logical access control use cases.” Support for devices with streamlined user-authentication Like the rest of the portfolio, the FPC1025 can be used by devices and applications where secure, streamlined user-authentication is required. All sensors in the portfolio come with unique features that enable an excellent and secure daily user experience. The access sensor series combines Fingerprints’ proven technology to make life simple for device makers and end users.
Biometrics company, Fingerprint Cards AB (Fingerprints™) announces a collaboration with the global on-line distributor, Digi-Key Electronics. This cooperation will strengthen Fingerprints’ position and help the company scale into new markets and application areas within IoT and access globally. “This is a step for us to be able to scale with FPC BM-Lite and to reach new verticals that require additional sales channels to drive business. Digi-Key will help us reach out and find new potential markets and application areas,” concludes Michel Roig, SVP Business Line Payments & Access at Fingerprints. Capacitive fingerprint sensor technology “We are excited about the new partnership with Fingerprint Cards,” said David Stein, VP, Global Supplier Management at Digi-Key. “Biometric Authentication is growing as it continues to be implemented into new applications and devices. Digi-Key now offers customers an easy path to develop secure devices with integrated capacitive fingerprint sensor technology.” Fingerprints’ BM-Lite Module and Development Kit are currently in-stock and available for immediate shipment from Digi-Key.
Biometrics company, Fingerprint Cards AB (Fingerprints™) announces the expansion of its Biometric Software Platform (FPC-BEP) for access control solutions. Fingerprints has tailored its successful payments software platform to support access control device makers, card manufacturers and system integrators in adding biometric authentication to their logical and physical access implementations. Biometric-enabled cards The platform combines with Fingerprints’ biometric sensors to optimise performance for two key access control scenarios: one-to-few and one-to-one authentication. One-to-few sees biometric hardware and software integrated into the access control infrastructure of the building. A small set of biometric credentials (<200) can be enrolled onto the access control solution to enable employees or residents to authenticate and gain access. One-to-one integrates the biometric sensor and software into a plastic card or wearable which is then issued to employees or residents. This approach can be used to add additional security to existing contactless access control infrastructure by simply issuing biometric-enabled cards, or as part of a new system that replaces keys and PINs. Users place their thumb or finger over the sensor when they tap the card to perform a multi-factor authentication and gain access. Payments software platforms “Biometrics is the perfect way to add convenience and security to access control solutions, as you assure that it is the right person that has the right access.” comments Michel Roig, SVP Payments & Access at Fingerprints. Scenarios remove the risk of lost and stolen access cards and offer significantly higher security" “This solution is built upon the success and R&D of our mobile and payments software platforms, which verify billions of touches per day, and enables access control stakeholders to layer additional security onto existing or new infrastructure. Both scenarios remove the risk of lost and stolen access cards and offer significantly higher security than PINs and keys. All while maintaining user convenience and privacy, which are fundamental.” Impressive biometric performance From a privacy perspective, users’ biometric credentials are converted into a biometric template during the enrolment process and can be encrypted on the device. If stolen, the templates cannot be reverse engineered to reveal the user’s biometric information. Extensive internal tests using FPC Access sensor series show impressive biometric performance, and best-in-class robustness with FRR < 3%, FAR 1/500,000, and the fastest matching time available on the market.
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