ID Access and Management: The Basics of Physical Security

How to Help Identify and Protect Your Employees As companies grow, the increase in employees can pose a serious concern, as security personnel are employed to help ensure the safety of employees. There are numerous measures that can be taken to improve physical security, and their cost-effectiveness should be considered before installation. Some methods of identification include the following:

Identification Cards
ID cards are often the solution for larger companies where security guards can be posted at entrances to check ID cards. Cards with pictures are necessary to ensure that the person is carrying the correct ID card.

Scanners can also be installed to help ensure that ID cards are not fraudulent, even if the picture matches the person carrying the card. Different cards can be programmed to work for different facilities or restricted areas also.

Personal Identification Numbers
PINs can also be used for building access using key pads at doors. These can be programmed so each employee has a unique PIN for access. PIN access lists should be updated regularly to ensure previous employees do not continue to have access to business information.

Smart Cards
Smart cards are physical identification tags, often called tokens, which are carried around with employees for identification. Smart cards can be used to unlock doors and can also be programmed for specific employees to access restricted areas using door readers. They are often kept on key chains or lanyards for easy access to door readers.

Biometric scanners are more expensive measures of authentication, which use an employee's physical characteristics to gain access. These are the most secure methods for authentication as an employee's physical traits are very hard to imitate.

    Fingerprint and Handprint Scanner
    Fingerprint scanners are often the cheapest biometric scanner to implement and are very successful as identifying someone based on their unique finger print. Hand scanners help improve upon fingerprint identification through full handprints.

    Retina Scanner
    A retina scanner uses the uniqueness of a person's eye to ensure authentication. Retina's are reliable for identification and are harder to falsify than fingerprints.

About the Author

Thomas Donchez

Thomas Donchez

Contributing Writer

Thomas Donchez is a graduate of East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania, where he earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Computer Security and Computer Science. Tom is currently working toward his Masters Degree in Computer Science and resides near Allentown, PA.

With a strong background in computer security and great interest in current trends, Tom enjoys writing on security related topics. His recent research includes rootkit detection and advanced steganography methods, and his thesis work relates to network traffic analysis and reporting. Tom also spent three years as an ASP.NET web developer.

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