Biometrics growing in popularity, analyst says
Biometrics is growing increasingly popular amongst enterprises as a security measure, according to a report by Global Industry Analysts Inc.
The worldwide biometrics market will increase to US$14 billion by 2015. This increase is because there are growing demands for security against terrorism, sophisticated crimes and financial fraud, according to Global Industry Analysts. The US and European share of biometric technology accounts for 60 per cent of the biometrics market.

“In general, there’s a market for it,” said Michelle Warren, an analyst at MW Research and Consulting.

Biometrics is technology, used to recognize humans by physical features. It is using technology to identify a person based on their biological traits, like retinal or iris scanning, fingerprinting or facial recognition according to The International Biometric Society. Companies use it to control who has access to information or restricted places within their facilities. It can also be used to monitor where individuals go within the company.

“Biometrics are embedded into many laptops and mobile devices now to lock down important databases and to replace passwords; again the ROI (return of investment) is significant here,” said Peter O’Neill, president of Find Biometrics.

Toronto-based company, Revolution in Secure Sensor Technology (RISST Ltd.), specializes in the creation of biometric products. This company created Automated Fingerprint Identification Systems (AFIS) and other biometric fingerprint recognition systems for enterprises. This technology is effective because it is accurate and fast, as fingerprints are contained in a database are easily accessible in seconds, according to RISST. AFIS could be used for hotels and for credit cards, according to Arun Malhotra, president of RISST.
“It would be a better way of eliminating plastic cards,” Malhotra said.
With bank and credit card transaction fraud increasing, there is a need for higher levels of security and better ways of identifying people, personal verification technology is becoming more vital, according to the Biometric Consortium, a part of the United States government.
“Biometrics on the enterprise level are currently being used for Physical Access to replace cards and keys,” O’Neill said.
There is also a use for this type of technology in the legal field. Biometrics can be used to present evidence in court. It is currently being used for fingerprinting and identifying DNA on objects, like extracting fingerprints from metal fragments, gun cartridges and sensory technology. The biometrics/fingerprinting market had a compound annual growth rate of 12 per cent in 2009, according to a report by Global Industry Analysts Inc.
There is enhanced security like retinal scans for users, on notebooks, so unauthorized individuals cannot access your private information on your personal laptop. Another benefit with this is a person does not have to remember passwords anymore. It is costly to implement, though, compared to using traditional security measures like passwords.
“It is a niche market security solution depending on the organization,” Warren said. “Health care has an increased need, (as do) legal and accounting.”
Enterprises might rule using this technology out because of the high cost associated with biometric security, or the company may use biometrics only for part of their organizations where, leaked information could be detrimental to the company, according to Warren.
“Biometric solution is at the individual level; it’s important because that’s where most of the information is being lost,” Warren said.

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