As lockdowns across the nation begin to lift and people start to return to some semblance of their daily lives in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, nearly everyone agrees that the so-called “new normal” will look much different for businesses of all shapes and sizes. Security technology will also undoubtedly figure prominently among the solutions leveraged by organizations as they look to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
The pandemic forced many people and businesses to reconsider biometric technology, especially with the COVID-19 virus spreading easily through touchpoints. Fingerprint scanners can quickly become a source of infections, especially in public spaces like offices. Containing many points of contact, it made them one of the riskiest locations these days.
Access control has always been the first and foremost consideration in any security environment. This includes biometric entry devices, which will also be significantly impacted by the lasting effects of the pandemic.
It’s difficult to claim that fingerprint recognition sensors are entirely safe from spreading viruses. That said, fingerprint recognition sensors aren’t less likely to get contaminated than other surfaces such as door handles and elevator buttons.
Although fingerprint recognition is a secure and convenient technology that has become common and widespread, not only in smartphones, but in our everyday lives as well, the recent global outbreak caused by COVID-19 is raising questions about how safe using fingerprint authentication really is as touching the sensors can potentially spread viruses, and maintaining cleanliness on surfaces is nearly impossible.
Challenges and opportunities
In the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, numerous news articles have claimed infection risk via these commonly touched surfaces. Reports say that the virus can survive anywhere between hours to days, depending on the type of surface it may land.
Fingerprint recognition requires users to touch the sensor. According to a study, the contamination level of this surface is as high as that of door handles. This indicates that fingerprint recognition sensors can act as a medium to pass the virus via contact just the same as any other commonly touched surfaces.
Thermal imaging and contact tracing technologies have garnered much of the attention in the past weeks. The gradual reopening of the economy in most cities in the country is slowly getting its phase. These solutions are but one part of what portends to be a fundamental shift in how companies think about and use security systems.
Although contactless biometrics is now likely the preferred modality for access control and other use cases in the future, other technologies such as fingerprint, vein pattern recognition, and other solutions that rely on physical contact with a reader won’t go entirely away, at least not immediately.
A sweeping change
Biometrics like facial recognition are integrating themselves into the fabric of a new approach to post-COVID-19 access control. Body temperature checks used to screen employees and visitors for fever and the strict wearing of face masks are some of the measures considered as the first line of defense for public health.
Among the technologies available are thermal imaging cameras that detect elevated skin temperatures compared against a sample of average temperature values, distant temperature detectors, non-contact infrared forehead thermometers, and many more.
One of the biggest trends within many organizations and public facilities in the wake of COVID-19 has been the use of thermal imaging for fever detection. Many biometric firms are also now looking at ways to integrate these cameras into their solutions to create a comprehensive offering for access control and coronavirus mitigation.
In a future where everything with electricity is expected to be connected to the internet, biometrics is the only way to solve humans’ security in a convenient way. Wherever you need to sign in, identify yourself, or authenticate different actions like payments or access. Biometrics is something you are, not something you have to remember, like a key, password, or PIN code, and cannot easily be obtained by others, second-guessed or hacked.
A combination of biometrics, and other sensors and methods, will also be necessary for the future of continuous authentication, to ensure the right person is the actual user of the given device or application at any given time. Our Biometric ID will finally enable us to end all the cumbersome passwords and PINs, and where you are, is the key to everything.
A straightforward solution
Salarium is committed to giving you a straightforward solution today now more than ever. Significantly reduce physical contact without sacrificing convenience and efficiency with FacePass: a Touchless Time & Attendance Solution powered by S.A.F.E. Tech (Secured Attendance & Face-Enabled Technology).
FacePass is Salarium’s Touchless Time and Attendance Solution. Powered by S.A.F.E. Tech, this service automates your workplace’s safety entry protocols. It efficiently monitors your employees’ time and attendance simultaneously—all without the need for physical contact.
Integrated into Salarium’s Timekeeping System requires your employees to wear their facemasks and be in the normal temperature before recording their Time-Ins and Time-Outs. Its superior facial recognition capacity can accurately identify an employee in a second, even with his/her facemask.
Why go, touchless?
- Safety + Convenience
Accurately record clock-ins and outs of your employees in seconds, without the need for physical contact.
✓Touchless clock-ins and clock-outs in real-time via facial recognition
✓ Create, Track, and Manage Shifts and Schedules
✓ Manage Overtimes, Undertimes, and Leaves
✓ Complete Attendance Reports Instantly
Are you implementing rotational shifts for your skeletal workforce? This service is designed to work with our Timekeeping Methods, such as our mobile-friendly Web Bundy, so you can monitor your employees’ time and attendance while keeping them safe WHEREVER they work—office or at home.
These and more, you can check out salarium.com/facepass/ for more information. Stay safe, Go Touchless!
- Shibli, M., Biometrics: History, Origin & How It Affects Our Lives
- Griffin, J., (7th Jul 2020), The Role of Biometrics in a Post COVID-19 World
- White, E., (8th May 2019), A look into biometrics past and future