Fingerprints to Identify Users

YSoft SafeQ
Štěpán Nováček
Technical Product Manager
As printers, particularly multifunction devices (MFDs), become more sophisticated Internet of Things devices, their value to an organization increases. Once viewed as the machine in the corner for printing and copying, today’s MFDs have become instrumental machines for office productivity and a paperless office.
It is no wonder then that the industry needs to help organizations secure access to these valuable devices. Additionally, regulations like GDPR with painful financial consequences, make security (and data privacy) a higher than ever requirement.

Organizations have had a few options until recently. When using print management software for example, access to these devices requires user credential verification – a username/password, a PIN or an ID badge on a card reader. With any of these methods, the print management software embedded in the MFD would verify credentials against a corporate directory. If matched, access is given.

Whether a business has an inherent need for a higher level of security or a desire to make access more secure, companies are asking for more alternatives that are not so difficult that users devise ways to circumvent the security. In fact, organizations are requesting methods like that of governmental access including biometrics such as fingerprints.

As a rule of thumb – pardon the pun, security experts recommend the choice of identity verification method be balanced with costs, risks associated with access, technologies required and finally, the user experience (UX). However, as the demand increases, these methods may become more de rigor.

YSoft SAFEQ Authentication through Fingerprints

Y Soft customers know that Y Soft provides card readers so that employees can use their existing ID badge as their credentials to access YSoft SAFEQ on any print device. Since Y Soft designs, tests and manufacturers the card reader, customers are assured that the card reader works seamlessly with the software. But did you know that we also provide an External Card Reader Kit?

Customers that want to use fingerprints instead of a badge or username/password, can use the Card Reader Kit integrated with a fingerprint terminal, for example, the MorphoAccess series from Idemia, to verify identity through users’ fingerprints. Instead of using a username/password or badge – which can be forgotten or lost, an employee uses their finger on a pad that matches fingerprints files stored in the corporate directory.

It should be noted that biometric traits are personally identifiable information and therefore subject to privacy regulations, such as GDPR. As such, employee fingerprint data collected must be viewed as sensitive information. In fact, GDPR has specific provisions related to biometric data processing. In short, it is not allowed unless the user gives explicit consent and it is securely processed and stored according to the legislation in the home country, or in the case of GDPR, if it involves any European Union national.

Anyone who has ever used the fingerprint unlock function on their mobile phone knows that during setup, the system asks the user to insert their fingers on the scanner several times. The reason is that users don’t always place their fingers on the pad in the same way. So, the system has to collect several fingerprint data scans to store in the database.

Still, for organizations who require the extra security that a fingerprint identification provides, the technology is available for use with YSoft SAFEQ with the External Card Reader Kit. Ask your Y Soft representative or Y Soft Partner representative about it.

Looking into the future

Fingerprint access to a multifunction device is here for many organizations. But looking further, what other kinds of identity verification may we see one day? Voice and facial recognition, a user’s heartbeat, gesture or gait?

While some of these biometric methods may seem out of a science fiction movie, they are likely coming to an office near you soon. With the adoption of home assistants such as Amazon Alexa and Google Home, voice recognition is already on its way to be integrated with multiple types of applications. Similarly, facial recognition and fingerprint scans are accepted as reliable methods on smartphones. The jump to office networked devices is already happening.
Štěpán Nováček
Štěpán Nováček
When Štěpán isn’t gazing into the future of hardware, he looks after Y Soft’s hardware solutions ensuring their seamless operation with Y Soft software. Working in Y Soft’s Prague office, he enjoys swimming once or twice a week and freeride skiing in snow powder.
View all posts by Štěpán Nováček

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