Selecting the Best Biometric Technology to Integrate with Enterprise Single Sign-On Solutions

Whether deploying strong authentication, implementing an enterprise-wide identity management initiative or simply focusing on the sign-on challenges of end users, it is essential for organizations

By Victor Herring | Posted Nov 24, 2009
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Whether deploying strong authentication, implementing an enterprise-wide identity management initiative or simply focusing on the sign-on challenges of end users, it is essential for organizations to have a strong single sign-on (SSO) architecture in place to support their specific requirements. But while SSO solutions provide a more efficient and convenient way to manage passwords, they can represent a single point of failure if front-end authentication is not robust enough.

"When evaluating biometric technologies, it is important for organizations to examine both the advantages and drawbacks of each technology, as inferior forms of biometric could result in more problems then benefits.”


Victor Herrring



One option that continues to garner a great deal of industry-wide interest is implementing biometric strong authentication to supplement SSO solutions. This provides organizations with a comprehensive authentication solution for safeguarding sensitive data and mission-critical applications while complying with HIPAA, Sarbanes Oxley, PCI DSS and other industry and federal regulations.

When evaluating biometric technologies, it is important for organizations to examine both the advantages and drawbacks of each technology, as inferior forms of biometric could result in more problems then benefits. For example, since biometric deal with the human body, it tends to be intrusive. Some people are not comfortable providing a fingerprint or standing in front of a device exposing their eyes to an unknown technology.

Additionally, because the human body and the nature of biometric that deal with physiological factors are so unique, some biometric technologies statistically cannot be applied to certain users. Some users' fingerprints are too thin and others have been exposed to harsher elements where the skin has become too worn or dry to be read accurately. Even when users can successfully interface, their body is always subject to changes for which the technology cannot compensate. Some factors as simple as paper cuts can throw off certain fingerprint biometric systems.

Accuracy is also an issue. More critical enterprise applications require more consistently accurate technologies compared to conventional fingerprint recognition or other biometric techniques such as hand geometry comparisons or facial recognition. Iris scanning technology is one of the most accurate biometric technologies today, but it is not easy to deploy. It is also an intrusive technology to many people, and is highly cost-prohibitive to the average organization.

Ease of deployment is the final major stumbling block facing many biometric technologies.  In the biometric field, some vendors only provide sensors, some provide just the middleware and some provide only software. This leads to an integration-intensive security project for most IT departments instead of a product that will work right out of the box and will easily work with existing IT systems.

Until now, there has been no biometric technology that can achieve the highest levels of accuracy, security and usability while remaining non-intrusive and cost-effective. Palm vein contactless reader utilizes no trace technology which leaves virtually no biometric footprint behind and therefore it is difficult to spoof, especially when compared with cheaper fingerprinting devices. Palm vein recognition has emerged as the ideal balance among security, cost, accuracy and ease of use, making it an optimal physical and IT access control solution for organizations with in the healthcare, financial services, government and other industries.
 
Palm vein recognition technology is significantly less expensive than iris scanning. The cost benefit is coupled with distinct deployment advantages. As the most robust solution, palm vein authentication provides a full compliment of hardware and software necessary for implementations. It is especially attractive to enterprises moving toward identity management solutions with SSO initiatives. By placing palm vein biometric authentication in the front end of SSO solutions, organizations will be able to manage system access control more securely and cost effectively.
 

 

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