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Biometric Access Control Gains in Popularity Among Corporate Occupiers

Touchless systems for access control are gaining in popularity, including those that use biometrics, according to a new survey by HID Global, a secure access control manufacturer. About a third of businesses use touchless solutions for access control, and 30 percent of firms already use biometrics. Forty-two percent of companies plan to upgrade to mobile access control systems, while the survey said 32 percent plan to go touchless.

Lower-tech access control credentials remain the most common in the workplace, as 60 percent of the 1,000 global businesses surveyed said they use ID badges. These businesses tend to use low-frequency proximity signals, QR codes, or magnetic stripes. But more companies are investing in higher-tech access control upgrades, and the survey revealed more firms are interested in biometrics. Integration with existing security platforms was also identified as a top three desired feature in an access control system.

While many IT professionals believe biometric authentication is more secure than traditional PINs and text-based passwords, they caution that biometrics like facial and voice recognition also has security flaws. Data breaches that lead to stolen biometric data are a constant threat, and security professionals also worry about the risks of false positives, replicated identifiers, and the lack of biometric standards. While there are ways to make biometric access control work in a building, until tech vendors address security issues and privacy concerns, biometric technology will likely be used side by side in the workplace with more traditional measures.

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