Access Control – Does ECG biometric technology hold the key?

A group of people walking through an Airport Terminal

As the world moves towards seamless digital and mobile connectivity, we must move beyond PINs and Passwords (something you know) to more sophisticated security measures such as biometrics (something you are). 

Access control is an increasingly topical issue at the moment, securing buildings and managing border control and immigration are of hot debate. The first generation of biometric technologies such as fingerprint, voice, iris and face recognition have made considerable progress to offer solutions in part to this problem, but have inherent constraints. ECG (Electrocardiogram) as an internalised (inside the body) biometric, offers an infinitely more secure solution than external first generation biometrics.

Each individual’s ECG produces an electric waveform different to another (inter-variability), like a fingerprint, but more than that, each heartbeat also forms a different signal (intra-variability). The ability to capture those uniquely means that a particular pattern is formed. If an exact match of this pattern was detected, this would indicate a spoofing attempt, so imitation would be detected. This means that if the technology was developed that could harvest this data (which would be more complicated to do given that the biometrics are internal and not publically accessible) then it would not be possible to imitate. This is another benefit of using a “live” signal as part of a dynamic biometric modality, versus static first generation biometric modalities.

What sets B-Secur apart in the market, is that our primary strategy is not to develop a specific product but to deliver a host of ECG technical solutions that allow our technology to be easily integrated into other products and systems.

Access control is a problem area that can certainly capitalise on ECG biometric authentication technology, with a vast potential for application – from government building access through to schools, hospitals and airport access control for employees. We are currently running a number of interesting pilots, including a biometric smart card for controlled access in a major UK airport technology integrator and a similar trial with one of the UK’s leading construction businesses.

Investing in integration with legacy infrastructure is key for us – we understand that the costs and process of implementing brand new hardware can be daunting for businesses, so we’ve consciously worked to develop solutions that can integrate with existing systems and infrastructure. We’re proud of the security and convenience of this approach.




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