Phil Scarfo, vice president of sales and marketing, Lumidigm
Future campus IDs will evolve to support many new capabilities and form factors beyond today’s traditional plastic card. Moreover, campus cards will incorporate biometrics to combine convenience with security, addressing the various requirements of the university – including labs and other high-security environments – in an integrated, campus-wide solution.
Biometrics offers an ideal solution in many applications, and will be a particularly effective authentication approach as access control solutions migrate – along with campus ID cards, in general – to credentials on mobile devices, which provide very effective vehicles for carrying biometric templates. Leading this migration will be the adoption of fingerprint-only access control solutions.
Both mobile and fingerprint-only options have the potential to redefine the concept of student and staff ID cards. In many scenarios, a physical card will no longer be necessary to deliver all of the benefits of biometrics-based authentication within an integrated system that supports different risk levels and access control applications.
Many universities are already incorporating biometrics into their authentication arsenal. Initially, student ID cards were being used with biometric authentication solutions, such as those that integrate fingerprint sensors with contactless card-reading technology. Adding biometrics to these existing solutions extends the value of today’s traditional contactless identification card by quickly and reliably verifying the authenticity of the card and the identity of the individual cardholder. In a lab setting, this can be critical for ensuring the overall safety of students, faculty, staff, the public, and for improving planning for emergency preparedness and incident response, all while decreasing an organization’s liability.
As we draw closer 2020, and the decade to follow, universities will continue to improve their biometrics implementation best practices. Many institutions are looking at how government facilities use biometrics for high-security applications requiring multifactor authentication. Moreover, universities are conducting risk assessments and looking beyond physical security to consider how best to protect research data and other confidential information.
Against this backdrop, biometric technology will continue to improve and deliver even higher levels of security. On the horizon, we will see sensors that deliver even better security, privacy, encryption, tamper protection and more robust anti-spoofing capabilities.
Another important component will be the move to mobile devices, which offers the potential for significantly improved convenience and security. Template storage will turn the smartphone into a portable database that is well suited for installations spanning multiple sites. Storing biometric templates on a smartphone credential will also simplify system start-up, support nearly unlimited user populations and eliminate redundant wiring requirements for biometric template management – a move that will significantly reduce installation costs. The mobile trend will pave the way for new capabilities such as continuously reading a person’s biometric as they carry their mobile device, or pre-authenticating the person before they even get to the door.
Additionally, the mobile model opens the door for using the connected device’s geolocation and time synchronization capabilities to coordinate an individual’s multiple types of fingerprint, iris and other biometric IDs across multiple interconnected mobile and wearable devices. This has the potential to deliver near-perfect personal authentication accuracy in Internet of Things applications. Meanwhile, mobile credential delivery and management will continue grow in importance, as users biometrically authenticate to cloud-based systems and solutions.
As campuses move toward an Internet of Things environment, we have the opportunity to leverage mobile geolocation and time synchronization technology to coordinate multiple types of biometric IDs across multiple interconnected mobile and wearable devices for near-perfect personal authentication accuracy.
As these trends unfold, more reasons will emerge for universities to consider biometrics. For instance, biometrics could be used to promote a more affordable online curriculum for some universities, helping to more effectively identify students that are remotely linked to a college or institution as they take exams or turn in assignments. Using biometrics to securely extend online courses taught by on-campus or remote instructors will benefit both students and participating institutions.
Securing research and development labs and other sensitive university areas is another setting that could benefit from the improved authentication capabilities of biometrics. As we move toward the campus ID card of 2020, we will initially see student IDs used in conjunction with biometric authentication solutions that integrate fingerprint sensors with contactless card-reading technology. Further down the road, however, this could give way to the broad adoption of mobile devices that not only carry campus IDs but also biometric templates for similarly improved authentication capabilities.
About the AVISIAN Publishing Expert Panel
At the close of each year, AVISIAN Publishing’s editorial team selects a group of key leaders from various sectors of the market to serve as Expert Panelists. Individuals are asked to share their unique insight into different aspects of the campus card market. During the months of December and January, these panelist’s predictions are published at CR80News.