Physical Access Control

Physical Access ControlPhysical access control protects both tangible and intangible assets by limiting access to only authorized individuals. Contemporary systems also provide a history of who gained access and when access was granted.

In reality, access control is a constant in people’s everyday lives. A simple key and lock to a home or office door is an access control system. More modern systems have relied on cards, in both low and high security technologies (i.e. 125 KHz proximity cards vs. encrypted Smartcards) for 25 years or so, with the advantage that cards are much easier to manage than keys and provide a record of who is accessing facility. But like a simple lock and key, cards are vulnerable to the loss or theft, and in some cases, the lending out of the card by an insider. Furthermore, like PINs and passwords for logical access control systems, cards can be costly to administer and support over their lifecycle due to being lost, damaged or stolen.

Highest security facilities are now migrating to biometrics based authentication for access control in both single factor and multifactor approaches. More than fingerprint solutions, Iris recognition in physical access control lends itself to single factor solutions, due to its inherently very high resistance to false matches, sometimes called false accepts, in which the system would allow an imposter to access the facility. Two factor solutions will typically require swiping an ID card and providing a biometric to gain access, but slow down entry to the facility, and require typically more administration support for lost cards.

Single factor iris solutions, in other words, can be both more secure and less expensive than card only or dual factor implementations.

Many enterprises and governmental institutions are applying iris recognition to their most secure facilities, such as data centers, high value depositories, laboratories, IT system control rooms, among others.