Security in business – who is winning the war

June 5, 2011 • Security

The security of resources in commerce continues to resemble a battlefield – a clash for supremacy between the forces of good and bad. Decision makers are aware of the stakes and dominance is a question of which side can source weapons of quality and how quickly.

This is the view of some experts in the field of identity management and solution development.

Marius Coetzee is the COO at Ideco Biometric Security Solutions (IBSS), an established provider of solutions, services and support within the field of identity management and part of Ideco Group Ltd.

According to Coetzee the level of innovation within the security space in general, and that within identity management specifically, is progressive.

“It is not to say that we can all now sit back and relax. The reality is that threats to both physical security and digital or online security continue to escalate, with perpetrators constantly improving their skills and knowledge of the cyber environment and access control in business. The threats to networks and systems are becoming more sophisticated everyday,” he says.

Management within service providers such as IBSS say access control lies at the heart of modern security management.

“When we talk of access control, we take into consideration physical access to buildings, the whereabouts of personnel on-and off site, as well as the level of exposure of networks and systems to internal and external environments,” Coetzee continues. “The vulnerability of data is a critical consideration, as is the regulation of who has access to which information, for what purposes and when.”

Whilst IBSS advocates that decision makers in business adopt this all-encompassing approach to resource security, the company is focused on identity management solution development, integration and support.

“This is a market segment that is very active and exciting. It is here where system development and innovation is making a huge impact. We are experiencing higher levels of convergence of biometric based infrastructure as the frontline of access control systems into businesses. This technology is developing all the time and the prospect of widespread use of facial recognition, for example, is becoming a reality,” Coetzee adds.

Coetzee attributes this growth, in part, to increasing awareness within the market of the pitfalls of relying solely on “more traditional” forms of security, such as Personal Identification Numbers (PINs), passwords and smart cards.

“There is a growing understanding of the fact that as technology advances, these traditional forms of security are unable to guarantee protection. Research shows that these security mechanisms are often used in fraud and are susceptible to abuse and manipulation,” Coezee explains.

Another challenge with some existing security technology solutions is that they do not provide a legally-binding audit trail says Coetzee.

“There is no user authentication and no way of knowing who did what, when, where or how,” he adds. “This is where biometric-based technology, primarily in terms of fingerprint identification or sign-on, using fingerprint reader devices, has emerged as a serious alternative within the market.”

In addition to the fact that biometric-based infrastructure does provide an audit trail or identity chain, its core characteristic is that it works off the ‘uniqueness’ of individuals.

This means that organisations and companies can integrate and apply biometric fingerprint identification technology to control access to resources.

“Over sixty thousand fingerprint readers are in use across South Africa, providing security within the workplace and effectively controlling access of more than two million people on a daily basis,” says Coetzee.

It is certainly a powerful addition to the security arsenal being mobilised by companies across the country he adds.

By Marius Coetzee is the COO at Ideco Biometric Security Solutions

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