The Benefits of Biometrics in Time and Attendance Systems
A biometrics-enabled time and attendance system is a quick and efficient way for working professionals to record the time at which they log in and out of work, minimising effort and maximising convenience. Many companies and organisations are already enjoying the ease and practicality of logging in time spent at office through this relatively new and emerging technology. Biometrics, as an industry, is expected to grow to annual revenue of $32 billion per year by 2022.
Employee fingerprints and face images are scanned and verified against records created by the company, to identify the individual based on these physiological characteristics. The business implications are, clearly, positive and plenty. These include an increase in employee productivity, a reduction in operational costs, and more.
But first, let’s get a general idea as to how biometrics work. When an employee places his or her fingertip on a fingerprint scanner, the information is recorded in the form of a mathematical algorithm – also known as a template – and stored securely on a server. On all subsequent scans, the employee’s fingerprint is compared with this mathematical algorithm or template.
The security of this data is, of course, crucial. That’s why, at no point of time during the biometrics data verification exercise is an image of the fingerprint or face actually stored. In fact, the image is not even used during the verification process. The template is effectively a code the same happens in the case of face scanning. It is impossible to recreate the fingerprint or face from the template. The information is encoded within the template in binary format, and stored in secure servers.
It is not easy to trick a biometrics system with a phony fingerprint, especially in our modern-day systems that can even distinguish between a real finger and an artificial one. Using redundancies, and by implementing a multi-factor access system, misuse of personal data can be ruled out decisively. To ensure greater security, the system can supplement biometrics with other strategies, such as signed application deployment, host and operator authentication, sensitive data encryption, biometrics locking, device identification with unique device identifiers for analytics/fraud management, stored biometrics elimination, and so on.
With the security aspect thoroughly addressed, let’s move on to the benefits of implementing biometrics, of which there are many!
Users can gain access to the office or factory space with a very minimal amount of input or effort when their identity is validated through a fingerprint or face scanner. Employees do not need to carry ID cards, nor remember complex passwords. There is of course no chance of the employee forgetting their fingerprints or faces at home! Employees have the added convenience of not having to remember or periodically update their usernames and passwords for security purposes.
Guaranteed physical location
When access systems use swipe cards or PIN codes, organisations must always wonder if the person gaining access is the employee or a friend with whom he or she has shared the crucial information! While these login credentials can be shared between employees in traditional systems, in a biometrics system the possibility is ruled out.
Efficient data processing
With this technology, businesses can now process larger amounts of data with greater speed and precision. In addition, biometrics systems are a lot more robust and sturdy than traditional systems, which involved the creation, storage and daily usage of usernames and passwords. When implemented correctly, biometrics can also reduce a company’s operational costs.
Workers logging in through a biometrics system don’t have to worry about stolen keys or lost ID cards as they carry their physiological data with them wherever they go! Biometrics provide quick and efficient entry and egress of individuals in times of emergency, without needing to locate swipe cards in haste. And last but not the least, identity theft is eliminated.
Innovative solutions for evolving issues
Blue-collared workers in hard factory floor jobs face a unique concern when it comes to accessing the work floor. While biometrics systems seem to bring with them considerable advantages, damage to the workers’ hands during the course of their work can significantly change their fingerprints from time to time. That’s why biometrics has evolved past simple fingerprint verification to include verification of other biometrics such as facial scanning.
Biometrics access control systems are an evolving field of technology, and much safer than traditional modes of access that involve usernames, passwords, email addresses, and so on. While there is occasionally concern regarding the extremely sensitive data employees must record with the system, the benefits, in most cases, far outweigh the disadvantages.
If you enjoyed this blog post you can also read more interesting blog posts such as How Biometric Data Collection improves the Workforce