As new technology and dangers arise, ensuring security in today’s intelligent, digitised, and connected offices is a never-ending conundrum. As organisations have shifted to enable working from anywhere, the magnitude and complexity of the challenge have grown in recent years (WFA).
WFA, which encompasses all sorts of flexible working arrangements such as compressed hours, flexi-time, job-sharing, and remote working, adds to the security risks. How can firms beef up their security without putting a huge strain on their resources? Biometrics, when used in access control, may seamlessly provide increased security while also unlocking a smarter working environment for both employees and employers.
New ways of working
WFA was already gaining traction before 2020, having grown by 140 per cent since 2005. The advantages of a hybrid model are now recognised by both large corporations and small and medium-sized businesses. According to UK recruitment polls, 92 per cent of millennials consider flexibility to be a top priority when looking for work. Bosses are seeing the benefits as well, with 70% of UK employers believing that working from home makes them more appealing, and that working from home increases productivity.
Maintaining security has long been a concern for organisations, but the stakes have never been higher, with a computer hack occurring every 39 seconds and expected company losses from breaches estimated to exceed $6 trillion (a double since 2015). Maintaining solid security while people work from anywhere, on the other hand, is a difficulty.
In shared environments, WFA raises the possibility of shoulder surfing’ to acquire login credentials, which is believed to account for 60% of all hacking occurrences. Additionally, employees are more likely to leave company devices unlocked and unattended, increasing the risk of device or credential theft.
Other dangers are related to WFA for businesses. As working hours become less rigid, businesses must ensure that their offices are secure 24 hours a day, seven days a week, while enabling employees seamless access. Increased physical threat activity, which 64 percent of U.S. businesses are experiencing, further complicates the situation.
To address the rising dangers of WFA, a strategy that empowers enterprises and people with enhanced and frictionless security is required. The answer could be found in biometrics, which is one of the many security technologies available to decision-makers.
Looking beyond passwords and PINs
PINs and passwords are no longer sufficient for decision-makers who seek flexibility and convenience combined with confidence. As many as 81 percent of enterprise data breaches are caused by poor password hygiene. PINs and passwords are still extensively utilised despite this challenge.
Many industry leaders, however, are beginning to see the flaws in passwords and PINs. According to Gartner, 60 percent of large and 90 percent of mid-size businesses will employ password fewer authentication solutions in more than half of use cases by 2022. Microsoft also removed its 160,000 employees’ internal policy of changing passwords every 71 days, as well as its customer suggestion of updating them every 60 days, calling the policy “old and outmoded.”
Given this trend, how can biometrics support organizations with frictionless, robust security?
Integrating biometrics in an enterprise setting
Employees are empowered with workplace security thanks to biometrics, which make them the key wherever and whenever they are needed.
Biometrics cannot be forgotten, hacked, or shared (willingly or unwillingly), whereas PINs and passwords can be forgotten, hacked, or shared (willingly or unwillingly), reducing security concerns and the potential for scaling attacks. Security is unified across a variety of devices and access points with biometrics, including peripherals, VPNs, access pads, smart locks, and fobs. As a result, companies can rest assured that their employees are fully protected while working from home or elsewhere.
For instance, biometric access cards, which can be thought of as a modern-day key that interfaces with current infrastructure, are one of the most obvious ways for businesses to reap the benefits of the technology. Biometric access cards can be used for more than just physical and logical access. They can also be used for employee identification, registration for attendance systems, and resetting alarm systems. An employer can use an access card to grant varying levels of access to restricted places such as R&D departments, archives, security offices, and healthcare environments including hospital wards and pharmacies.
When it comes to managing biometric access cards, there is no risk of unauthorised access if an employee loses one because they would not operate without the correct fingerprint. The on-device method to biometric data storage, in which the user’s information is kept, matched, and authenticated on the card, PC, phone, or peripheral, simplifies management even more. On-device storage prevents hackers from obtaining employee data sets while also avoiding the burden and cost of administering a centralised biometric database.
The on-device storage strategy removes a privacy burden and reduces employee concerns about centralised biometric data storage to encourage employee engagement with biometrics. In this contactless era, biometric access cards also aid office hygiene by eliminating the need for staff to handle PIN pads.
Unlocking an empowered workforce
Decision-makers have a rising problem in achieving a balance between providing robust, efficient security to employees and employers. For access control, traditional security solutions such as PINs and passwords are losing favour. Biometric technologies are a step forward in workplace security. Businesses can implement a smooth, simplified access solution, for example, by integrating biometric access cards, which helps foster confidence with their company and allows employees to be productive.
Use Shergroup’s security and biometrics solutions to overcome your business challenges. We provide professional business solutions designed specially to keep your business protected from any unforeseen workplace threat. Contact our friendly business solutions advisors for guidance on the solution that best fits your need.
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