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Modern Credentials: Biometrics

Blackboard, SAFRAN MorphoTrak discuss biometrics on campus

Part 2 of Blackboard’s “Modern Credentials” webinar series highlights biometrics

The ever-evolving tide of identification technology is changing the way people think about credentials, and popular opinion regarding the use of newer authentication solutions, like mobile ID and biometrics, has begun to shift.

In fact, there may not be a better time for higher education to start exploring the use of biometrics, in particular, following both implementations within the industry and a wave of acceptance in other verticals including the health care industry, membership systems, airports, smartphones and consumer devices, and access control to name a few.

In part two of Blackboard’s free “Modern Credentials” webinar series, biometrics is examined from both a high level as a technology, as well as for its application to specific campus use cases. The webinar provides a great resource for anyone interested in biometrics, offering a mix of both 101-level information and in-depth discussion regarding implementation strategies, technological advancements in the field and best practices.

Speaking on the webinar are Gary Jones, business unit director, biometric access and time solutions at SAFRAN MorphoTrak, and Paul DuBois, account executive at Blackboard Transact.

There’s a paradigm shift happening that’s leading to increased acceptance of the technology, and the profile of decision makers is changing to reflect a more tech-savvy generation of professionals, says Gary Jones, business unit director, biometric access and time solutions at SAFRAN MorphoTrak. “An emerging group of professionals have grown up with technology at their fingertips, and the bar for technology, particularly as it relates to security, has been raised,” he adds. “The evolving nature of public security threats like terrorism is also making the case for biometrics even stronger.”

To combat long-held misconceptions regarding privacy and how biometric data is stored, webinar attendees can benefit from a solid background on the security measures that are now inherent to every properly deployed biometrics system, as well as hear about industry best practices that should be applied.

Also highlighted are advancements in biometrics technology, including touchless biometrics in the form of SAFRAN MorphoTrak’s MorphoWave scanner that reads multiple fingers simultaneously, yielding 3D fingerprints in real time.

Biometric Student ID

Biometric access can be deployed wherever a credential is already being used including libraries, computer labs, science labs, data centers, residence halls and more.

Today most of these access points are facilitated with a metal key or some type of card credential, says Paul DuBois, account executive at Blackboard Transact. “With the use of biometrics, a campus can ensure that the person accessing a specific area is who they claim to be.”

Biometrics, as an access control technology on campus, is often viewed on the spectrum of convenience versus security. Blackboard’s DuBois discusses both ends of that spectrum, and posits some potential deployment strategies for each.

Campuses can also realize benefits in the form of:

Less lost-card hassle. Students easily lose their campus cards, but they innately have their biometric ID with them at all times. Coupled with anti-fraud measures, only live biometric identifiers can function as an active credential.

Lower card production expenses. Costs associated with card production and recarding can be reallocated to other priorities with the introduction of biometrics. The only expense incurred with biometrics systems is the upfront hardware necessary to acquire biometric identifiers.

Quick, remote changes. Student information can be easily updated or revoked remotely.

Security. Biometric readers can be configured to require another authenticator as part of a two-factor authentication. For example, a reader may be set to require a fingerprint and a PIN for increased security.

Hear about these benefits and more by tuning in to Blackboard’s free “Modern Credentials: Biometrics” webinar.

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