The Future Is Now With Biometric Security Systems

When many people outside the professional security community think of biometric security systems, they imagine wild contraptions that read retinas, scan fingerprints and recognize voices, not unlike the most elaborate machines seen in a blockbuster Hollywood movie. While biometric security systems do in fact identify people based on physical characteristics, and in this way seem incredibly futuristic, the basic principle behind biometric security is as old as humanity itself.

The word “biometrics” is derived from the Greek words “bios” meaning life and “metron,” which means measurement. Simply put, biometrics is the business of physical measurement, which when applied to modern security means all the technology that identifies people based on their unique individual characteristics. While the equipment may be cutting edge, the idea behind biometrics is quite a time-honored one. Why not protect a home, apartment complex or business according to the traits that distinguish people?

Continuing this thought, biometrics is a contemporary form of access control, of the part of security services that concerns which areas certain people can or cannot have access to enter. In previous decades, building managers, business owners and other security managers for private and corporate residences achieved access control the old-fashioned way, through services like locks with keys, and in recent years, key cards and keypads. Biometrics takes the idea one step further, and offer the chief advantage of being something that people cannot lose and thieves cannot steal. Plenty of employees forget their keys, but who ever heard of leaving their fingerprints at home?

While more expensive than more traditional means of access control, biometrics offer a higher level of security. This is because physical traits cannot be duplicated, unlike the way a key can easily be copied, or a number code for a keypad can be stolen. The difficulty of replicating biometric information makes it a smart choice for extremely high-stakes security situations, such as that found at major financial corporations and government and military installations.

Typical biometric security systems include fingerprint readers, voice recognition systems and retina and iris scanning systems. In addition to being impervious to theft or duplication, biometric security systems also resist tampering. When it comes to unique physical traits, the person seeking access either can present the trait, or they cannot. The use of biometric traits also relieves strain on employees in high-security scenarios and increases freedom because they can stop worrying about an all-important key and be confident that their own characteristics are everything they need to open a critical door.

From the perspective of a building manager or employer, biometric security systems offer convenience in that multiple features can be registered in a lock, which means that regular employees and frequent guests may safely be maintained in a system.

More and more, biometric security systems increase in popularity as people learn the advantages of security services based on unique physical signatures that cannot be easily duplicated or stolen. While still expensive compared to other access control options like locks and numeric keypads, biometric systems often provide the best choice for high-profile corporations and government installations. Not to mention, as technology develops, price continues to decrease, which makes the advantages of biometric systems more readily available to homeowners and small business owners. More and more, all they need is a fingerprint.

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