High-rise building owners and facilities professionals invest in security systems that will provide the highest level of security, working to keep the public areas open while protecting the private areas of the building, such as administrative offices, tenant spaces, or residents’ living quarters.

Integrating biometric reader technology into access control systems is a reliable, effective, and affordable choice to maintain multiple security levels. The benefits are plentiful, and facilities professionals are even seeing a return on investment.

Security Challenges

A robust access control system with a partitioned database is necessary to manage an access control system for multiple tenants. A partitioned database allows each tenant to manage his or her own database of employees and guests, while the building’s security staff members manage the complete security system and remain in control of the overall application. Biometric readers operate like any card reader in this situation, and offer a convenient biometric choice to gain access to a door.

Tight elevator control keeps unwanted guests out and tenants secure. Biometric readers provide a fast, easy way to maintain elevator security. Speed is key in this situation. When someone enters an elevator, he or she places a fingerprint on the reader. The biometric reader captures the fingerprint and communicates its findings to the access control system. The access control system determines which floor the person has access to, and delivers the person to the correct floor. In residential high-rises, this technology is even more critical, as elevators open directly into people’s homes.

Commercial high-rises are bustling with visitors, clients, and vendors. Managing 45 floors of people can be overwhelming (and disastrous) if the right procedure isn’t in place.

Using Biometrics for Visitors

Commercial high-rises are bustling with visitors, clients, and vendors. Managing 45 floors of people can be overwhelming (and disastrous) if the right procedure isn’t in place. Implementing fingerprint biometrics into the visitor management process will provide a more accurate procedure for tracking visitors and reducing security risks. The visitor simply keys in his or her data, and presents a biometric credential, such as a fingerprint, to the enrollment reader upon arrival. The information is sent to the access control database and communicated to the readers on the doors where access can be granted. In this situation, visitors don’t have to worry about carrying cards with them.

Robust security management systems come standard with visitor management modules, providing one security system for security staff, commercial tenants, or residents to learn. Capturing a visitor’s fingerprint via the access control system provides a secure method of guaranteeing that the visitor obtains access to only the doors assigned to them. In some multi-tenant facilities, this application greatly streamlines the access process.

Advantages of Integration

When used in place of cards or PINs, biometric readers eliminate the need to carry a card or remember a PIN, which then also eliminates the administrative challenges of deleting lost or stolen cards and issuing new PINs. A biometric, whether it’s a fingerprint, an iris, or a hand, is something you can’t lose because it’s always with you.

Biometric technology also provides another layer of security. When used with a card and/or PIN, a user has to authenticate himself two or three times before a door opens. This application is good in critical areas, such as data centers, laboratories, or rooms containing highly sensitive information or materials.

Economies of scale and increased use by the government have reduced the cost of biometric readers, and more end-users are realizing the practicality of not carrying a card or managing a PIN. Doing away with cards can also equal financial rewards, too. “In commercial or residential high-rise environments where the number of users is significantly greater than the number of doors, using a fingerprint reader will eliminate the cost of cards, thus saving money,” says Innometriks President John Cassise.

Biometric technology, specifically fingerprint technology, is highly accurate and easy to use. Readers are available with durable exteriors that work well in lobbies or loading docks. New interfaces and faster, better capture technology have proven that using biometrics for access is a good choice. The readers are faster, cheaper, and perform better than ever before. They also save money by eliminating the cost of cards, and provide enhanced security when used with a PIN or access cards.

All in all, integrating biometric technology with an access control system is a sound investment that keeps tenants safe and provide multiple layers of security.

Kim Rahfaldt

Kim Rahfaldt is public relations manager for AMAG Technology. She can be reached at kim.rahfaldt@amag.com.