Biometric technology: How it works for data center security

Biometric technology: How it works for data center security

Biometric technology is being touted as the best way for a business to protect its physical assets. Locking down the server cabinets and data center is vital to keeping personal information and intellectual property from falling into the hands of thieves or other criminal elements. According to a 2012 Forrester Report, 12 percent of all breaches resulting in loss from actions taken by a disgruntled employee.

Biometric access control
PC World, in quoting the Forrester Report, indicated that, more than unhappy employees, simple loss or theft of key and card access accounted for 31 percent of data security center breaches and that is why more companies are switching to fingerprint scanning and other biometric technologies for protection. By utilizing a non-duplicable identifier – an employee's fingerprint – security staffers are able to biometrically control access to sensitive areas.

Unique and un-replicable
Biometric security works by scanning an employee fingerprint into a secure database. By using points or portions of that fingerprint a profile of the employee is created. Every time that an employee needs access to a secure area, they use a fingerprint reader. If the print matches what is scanned, the employee gets access. If not, security is alerted immediately that something's wrong.

Earlier technologies like the passcard or keys have seen significant failures, recently. Tail-gaiting – one person passing through the access gates on the heels of another – is a huge concern of companies using those technologies. Biometrics ensure that tail-gating can't happen and that if a key or passcard goes missing it's not a big deal because fingerprint access is the only way any employee can enter a data center.

Many biometrics developers and analysts agree that the Target breach was the work of an insider. According to Minnesota's, Pioneer Press, because there were different sources targeted many experts feel there was insider help.

"This is someone who really knew their way around the system," said Avivah Litan, of information technology firm Gartner.Litan. "Someone had inside knowledge, whether it was an insider, or an outsider working with an insider."

If a company as big as Target could be breached what recourse do smaller companies without the security budget of such a big business have?

Investing in biometric access control is one way a company executive can begin to harden their security center and other vital and sensitive areas of their physical operation. Preventing unwanted and unauthorized access to personal and other data is critical to keeping a business alive and operating within budget.

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