Fingerprints for Access Control Guide

By Brian Rhodes, Published Sep 09, 2019, 11:00am EDT

Users can lose badges, but they never misplace a finger, right?

The most common biometric used in access are fingerprints, and it has become one of the most trusted credentials used for access.

However, the biometric has limitations, often is more costly, and is not typically used as the only credential in access.

In this guide, we examine the biggest considerations and factors for using fingerprints:

  • The four factors that matter to fingerprint use
  • Fingerprint reader Pros vs. Cons
  • Why fingerprints do not typically replace other credentials
  • Fingerprint readers typically cost more
  • The three common fingerprint sensors used in access
  • Why Scanning time varies
  • Which specific environments are ideal for fingerprints
  • Which tough environments are not a good match
  • Fingerprint readers advantages over mobile access

Fingerprint *********** ********

******** ***** ** ******** biometrics, ********* ************, **** as:

  • ****** ****: *********** ******* ********* cost **** ******** ** 'simple' ********* *********** ********** type *******.
  • ******** *********** ******: ** **** *****, fingerprints *** *** ******** enough ** ** **** as *** **** **********, and **** ** ****** with * ********* *** or **** **********.
  • ******** ****: ******** ** *** instant, *** ***** ****. More ******** ***** **** more ****, *** ******* in ***** ********* *** take **** ********** ******* compared ** *********** ***********.
  • ****** ***********:*** *** ******* *** rated *** *** ** harsh *******, ***** ************, or ***** **** ****** for ******* ** ****** impact ***********.

** *** ******** *****, we ******* *** **** and **** ** ************ where *********** ******* **** sense.

Advantages ************

********** ** *********** ******* have *** ***** ** some ****** ************:

  • *********** ****** *********: ******* do *** *** **** or ******.
  • **** ******** ************ ********: Because ************ *** *** general ******, **** ***** match ******** ***** ** credentials.
  • ***** ******* ********: *** of *** ******* ******** with ******** ****** ** sharing ***********. ************ ******* mitigate *** ****.

Downsides ************

** *** ***** ****, if *** ******* ****** for ******** **** ** convenience (**: "* ** longer **** ** ***** a ****"), *********** ******* frequently *** **** *********** due ** *********** ********** or ***** **** *** not ******** ******** ****** deployment.

**** ** ***** ***:

  • **** ************* & ********: Whether ********* ** ***, users ***** ***** ** are ********* *** ******** and ****** *********** **** is ****** *** ****.
  • **** ***********: *** *** openings *** ****** *** fingerprint *****. ******* **** and ******* ******** *** classic ****** ******** *** fingerprints.
  • ******** & ********* *********: What ******* **** ******* are ***, ******, ** users ***? ****** ************* often **** ************ **** one *** *** *** the ****.
  • ** **** ******* ***: Plastic ****** ***** *** used ** ********* ******* ID *****, *** *********** access **** *** *** them ** ***.
  • **** **** ********** *** Distinctive: ******* **** ************ are *** ***** *******, but **** ****** ******, the *********** ** **** uniqueness ****** *** *** be ***** *** ** only * *** ****** are *******.

Other *********** ***** ***** ******

******* ****** ******* ******, and ******* ** ******** fluctuations ** ******* *** the ***** ****, ********** fingerprint ***** ****** ****** take *****.

*** **** ****** ********** is **** **** **** of ****** ********** ** used, ** *********** ******* are ********* ******** *******-****** ****** ********** ***** ***** ************* options.

********** ** ************ ******, no *********** ****** ** accurate ***% ** *** time. ***** *** '***** positive' ****, ** ********** granting ****** ** ** unrecognized ******, ** *** there ** ********* *** frustrating '***** ********' *****, or ********** ******** * previously ********** ******. ** many *****, * ***** redundant ****** *** ** card *** ** **** instead.

*** ****** ***** ** one ******* ** * 'three ******' ******, *** products ********** *** ** five ******* *** ******:

***** ******** ******* ** often ******, **** ******** both ****** *** ********** management *****.

******** ******* **** *** useful *** ****-******** *********, where *** ***** ************ tightens ****** ** **** certain ******, *** **** specific *****.

*** **** *********** ************, not **** ** * valid **** ** *** required, *** ********* '*****' that *** *** *** person ****** **** ** also *****-******* *** *********** scan.

Fingerprint ******* **** ****

*** ******** ** **** for * *********** ******* is ~** ** *** more ********* **** ** equivalent *********** ******.

**** *** ******* *** (~$700) *** ****** ***** compared ** * (~$***) HID ****** ** ***, a ********** ** ***** 4.5X.

** ***** *****, **** expensive *********** ******* **** ZK ****'* ****** ****** cost ~$***, *** *******'* Bioentry * ****** **** ~$500. ** *******, **** these **** ****** *********** units *** **** ********* than ******* *********** **** readers.

*******, *****-****** ****** *** be ****** ******** *******, have **** ********** ******* some ****** ****** ****** (i.e., ****** *** ****** but ***** ******* *** more *********), *** ***** Wiegand **** (*** ******** high-security ****).

**** **** ******** *** additional ***** ** ********** cards (******* $* - $8 ****), *** *********** option *** ** ************* less *********.

Three ****** ****** *********** *******

*** ****** ***** **** in ****** ****** *** the ***** **** ** general ******** *******. *** three ***** **** ******* to ****** ***:

  • ******* / *******
  • ***********
  • **********

Optical / *******

**** *********** ****** ******* use ******* ** ******* sensors. ** *******, ******* sensors *** **** ******, although *********** *** ****** are ****** *** ****.

**** ***** ** ****** often ***** **** **** other ****** *****, *** scans * ****** ** a ***-****** *****, ******* it **** ****** ******** by ***** **** *** surface **** ** *******.

**** ***** ***** ***** finger ** *** ******, the ****** ******** ** 'image' ** *** ******, which ** **** ** a ********* *** ********** to * ******* ** images. *** *** ****** of **** ******* ******* in ****** **** ******** reads, *** ******** *** sensor ****** ** ****** protected **** ***** *******.

** *******, *** ****** is **** ** * time *** **** ** placed ** ******* **** the ******. ******* ****** from $*** ** **** than $*,*** *** ***** units.

***********

*** ** *** ******* issues **** **** *********** readers ** **** ********** is *** *** **** on ****** ** **** at * ****, *********** becoming * *** ********** for **** ****** ********.

*********** ******* ******** ***** this *****, ***** ******* multiple ******* '** *** fly' ******* ***** **** breaking ******.

*******, * *** ******** to ***** ******* ** cost, **** ******** ***** starting ** ~$*,*** *** stand ******** **** ********** models ******* ~$**,*** ** more.

**********

**** **** ********* **** of ****** ***** ** less *****, **** *****, and ** ****** **** in ******** ***** ********** devices *** ** **** common *** ********** ****** readers.

** ********** ************ **** contact **** *** *****, the ********** ******** ** a *********** **** ******* with *** ***** *** register * ****** '***********'. While ********** ** ** individual *********** ** ****, the ****** ** **** sensitive ** ******* ** the *****, *** **** materials ** ****** ** hand-lotion ***** ** ********* with ********** *****.

** *******, ********** ****** models ***** ** ~$** each *** *** ***** limited ** *** ******* they **** ****** ** how **** ****** **** can **** *** ******.

Scanning **** ******

*********** ******* **** ********** prints ** * ***** number ** ********* ('******') and **** ***** *** characteristics ** ***** ********** sampled ****** ** ********* to ******* ********** ****** scans. '*********** *******' ** identity ************* *** **** when ********** **** **** points ***** ** **** templates, *** *** ********* do *** ******* '***** print' *******.

*** ****** *** *********** scan **** *****, *** more ********** **** ** required ** ***** ***********. Because *** ***** ** biometric ************* ** ****** a '****' *** ********* it ******* * '*****' library ** ******* (** even **** * **** record ******* ** * card), *** ****** ** time * **** ***** to ******** ***** ***.

*** ********** **** ** often *** *********** *** less **** *** *******, but ******* ***** ********* tends ** ** **** shorter **** * **** is ******** ** * locked ****, *********** ******* in **** ** **** environments, ******** ** *** near-instantaneous ******* ** ******* and ********* * ********** card.

Environmental ***********

*** **** ** *** readers ********** ******* ********** from ******* *******, ************ themselves ******* ******* ***********.

************* **** ***** *****, cuts *** ******* ** finger ****, *** *** age ** *** ****** bearer *** ****** ** how ****** *** ********** the ***** ** ****. Likewise, ******* ********* ** wet ** ***** ************ face ********* ********.

***** **** ****** *********** factors, ***** *** '********' considerations ** ****. *** example, ******** *********** **** gloves **** ** ** removed ** ***** ** read * *****. ***** a ***** *************, **** used ** **** ** sterile ************ ****** ***** to ****** ****** ****** entry ** * ********* problem.

** ********, ****** ******** a ******* ***** *** susceptible ** ******* ****, moisture, *** ******* **** to ****** **** ** the ******* ** ************, and **** ********* ***** readers *** ********* ** 'potted' ********* **** ** not *** *********** **** while ****** **** ********* to ***** *******.

Most ****** *********** ************

***** *** ******* ************** for *********** *******, ******* use ** ***** *** compared ** **** *** fob *******.

** **** *****, *********** readers *** **** **** for ****** ****, ****** openings **** ******* ** individual ***** **** **** a ***** ********** ** many ***** ******* ****** at **** *** **** are ********* **** *******.

*** **** ********** ********, traditional *********** *** *** a ***** ********* ** users, *** ***** ** weak ************* ** '*** something **** ** *** broken' ***** *** **** relative **** ** *********** readers.

******* ************ *** ******* alike *** ******* ** environmental *******, **** ********* are **** ** '**** security' ****** ************ ***** 'multi-factor' *********** *** *********.

Special ************

*******, ************* ***** ** fingerprints **** ****** ** new ************ *** *** equipment. ***** *** '********' applications ** **** *****:

  • ******* ****** / ***:******* *****-** ***** ** fingerprints, ********* *** *** and *********** ******* ******* of ******** ***** ********.
  • ********* **********: ** ***** ** retrieve ********, * **** must **** * *********** that ******* *** '******** to ****-** ********' ****. This ******** ** ********** important ***** ******* ** children ** * *********** legal ***** *** **** people.
  • ****-******* *******: *** *********** ** are ******** **** ******* access ** **** *** and **** ** ********* based ** *********** **.

Fingerprints **. ****** ******

*** ****** ************ **** high ******** *** **********, like ************, *** ****** where ***** ******* ***** cards **** ***********.

** *******, ** ***** are ***** ***** ****** for ******, ****** ******* do *** ******* ************ too. *** *******, ** our ************ ****** ********, **** ** *** readers ** ****** ******** fingerprints ** **** *** the ****** ** ** fingerprint *******.

*******, ** **** *****, the ************ *** **** together ** *********** ***** include * *********** ********* unlock.

*** **** ********* ** mobile ****** ****** ** users ****** *********** *******, while *********** ******* ******* no ******.

*** ****-******** *********** ***** user ****** *** ********** or ***** *********** ****** credentials **** * ****** risk ** ***** ******/******, fingerprint ******* (********** **** in *********** ************** ***********) are **** ******.

[****: **** ***** *** initially ******* ** ****, and ************* *******/******* ** 2019.]

Comments (15)

With the cost of technology coming down, fingerprint readers will get to be a more attractive added value option vs traditional readers/keypad.

Though its best application really is for indoors/higher security portals rather that for outdoor/high volume entryways that can cause delays in entry due to read time and reading errors. I still am not keen on mobile access as we know that people still tend to lose or misplace their phones and some would not like to mix their personal phone for use by the company's business purpose.

I am more keen that facial recognition will be the future of access control. It may be a standalone FR reader or a wide view camera looking at multiple faces that can accomodate a large number of pre-authorized people and hold someone in a man trap when an individual tries to sneak in with the crowd.

I am looking forward in the coming future that door and entry way are unlocked and opened as it recognizes me from afar as an authorized person.

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Joe, good feedback!

I am more keen that facial recognition will be the future of access control

I do wonder about this. There's definitely a lot of momentum toward this but also rising opposition as well as technical risks as more systems really use this.

My gut feel is that mobile phones (or devices generally) as physical access credentials will become most common in a decade, given the near ubiquity of carrying around phones (or whatever phones evolve to in a decade) and that it eliminates the privacy and technical issues of doing facial recognition. Definitely could be wrong, someone let us know 10 years from now :)

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I am looking forward in the coming future that door and entry way are unlocked and opened as it recognizes me from afar as an authorized person.

The unlocked part is probably much more achievable than the opening part, unless budgets and spending on doors increase by a few thousand per door. :) See: Door Operators Access Control Tutorial

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Customers love the Suprema fingerprint readers. But then this happened...Biostar security software 'leaked a million fingerprints' - BBC News

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Related our in-depth coverage of: Suprema Biometric Mass Leak Examined

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Thanks for the report. Will there be one on Facial only? Or maybe a Combo fo face, mobile and finger for access control report?

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Thanks for the idea. We have internally discussed doing one and will proceed. Expect results later this fall/winter.

Are there any specific face rec readers you're interested in?

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I'm curious actually to see what's out there, if there are any new players or any good ones that really use facial rec for access control. AnyVision ? Stonelock? What else is there?

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We will be testing ZK Teco and likely Hikvision and Dahua's offerings too. Stonelock is a good suggestion. I'll be checking in with Idemia and Suprema too. Thanks for the feedback!

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Can you test EyeLock Identity Suite?

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Is it hard to fake a finger print on a reader?

[IPVM: Fake Fingerprints - Liveness Detection Solutions]

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I always have problem with my fingerprint when I touched down at the airport

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Good to know the limitations of using fingerprints access.

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On the section fingerprints reader vs mobile access. is it possible that someone could used their smartphone's finger print scanner with a compatible Bluetooth reader to gain access? With covid19 going around a lot of people are not wanting to touch a service which other people are touching.

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is it possible that someone could used their smartphone's finger print scanner with a compatible Bluetooth reader to gain access?

Yes, if that mobile access product is configured to only 'send' access details when a fingerprint is read. However, the phone device must be able to support.

For example, my phone is not (no longer) equipped with a fingerprint reader so while still 'biometric' to my face, it does not scan fingerprints.

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