How to Select a Biometric Reader

Alissa Boleky, director of marketing and business development at Anixter, explains how to use the acronym C.A.S.E. (convenience, acceptability, speed and accuracy, environment) to select the right biometric reader for a particular environment.

To learn more, see our TECHbrief on choosing a biometric reader for your application.

Transcript: How to Select a Biometric Reader

Hi, I’m Alissa Boleky.

Fingerprint readers, iris scanners, and other biometric technology have become increasingly popular in the commercial market. Biometric credentials offer greater security because they positively authenticate the user, cannot be lost or stolen, and are nearly impossible to counterfeit.

With many options available, how do you determine the right biometric technology for a given environment? Here are four factors to consider:

  • Convenience
  • Acceptability
  • Speed and accuracy
  • Environment

These criteria form the acronym C.A.S.E. Let’s apply the C.A.S.E. criteria to a specific environment. Here’s the entrance to a server room. This is an example of a restricted area where it’s important to identify and monitor who goes in and out.

Convenience may not be your number one concern here, since this is not a high-traffic area. If it were, it would make sense to use an easy, intuitive technology such as a fingerprint reader.

When it comes to acceptability, we need to ask what standard of security would be appropriate for this area. To mitigate the risk of a data breach and protect critical systems, a high-security biometric credential such as iris recognition would be appropriate for this server room.

Speed is not as much of a priority. If this were a high-traffic entrance such as a building lobby, then a touchless fingerprint reader that takes less than a second to authenticate would be a good option; but for this server room, a slower throughput is fine. An iris scanner or a multimodal finger vein/fingerprint reader takes an extra second to authenticate, but it also provides a higher level of security than a standard fingerprint reader.

Finally, we have to consider environmental factors. In this case, the environment is a well lit hallway, so our options are wide open. If this entrance were outside, we would want to avoid iris or facial recognition technology, which work best indoors. Instead we might opt for the fingerprint reader that works well in both indoor and outdoor environments and still provides a high level of security.

You can learn more about this topic by reading our TECHbrief on biometrics and talking to your local Anixter representative.


TECHbrief: What's the C.A.S.E.? Determining the Best Biometric Reader for an Application