Biometrics is no longer the stuff of sci-fi fiction and spy movies. At the Saflink Corporation, they keep things locked down with futuristic tech.
Biometrics is no longer the stuff of sci-fi fiction and spy movies, thanks to companies like Bellevue-based Saflink Corporation. CEO Glenn Argenbright, CEO talks about security, voice tones, and people with bad intentions.
What got you interested in biometrics?
Since my first exposure to the company several years ago, it has been clear to me that biometric security not only serves the need for increased network, application, and data security, but it is an elegant solution to an otherwise thorny problem: how to increase security without inconveniencing users.
What makes biometrics better than other security methods?
Since biometrics is based on unique individual characteristics–fingerprints, iris patterns, facial structure or voice tones–they provide an ideal way to verify an individual’s identity. Because they cannot be lost, stolen or forgotten, they are also very easy to use.
How did Saflink get started?
The company’s original mission was to identify and protect lost and missing children. At that time, about eleven years ago, the company was involved in the development of both hardware and software. Over time, the company found itself working with a number of large corporations and government agencies on various security initiatives.
Why did the company change its focus?
There was a shift in the market. The company turned its attention to the issue of network authentication and large enterprise deployments.
Now we’re finding ourselves in a unique position. With so much attention being focused on terrorism and security, the biometrics market is garnering never before seen levels of interest and attention.
With this area becoming more important, are you finding that you have much competition?
Actually, while there may be many firms who manufacture hardware in the space or provide software with limited functionality, I don’t believe there’s a great deal of competition in the enterprise software market for biometrics.
Do you think companies realize the value of security in their enterprises?
Well, certainly the ones who suffer an intrusion or loss do. And based on a recent FBI report, the Computer Crime and Security Survey, 85 percent of companies have had a security breach in the last 12 months, with 64 percent of these breaches resulting in financial loss.
As if that is not enough, there are now regulations that require companies to publicly reveal these breaches to their customers–a PR nightmare. I think our solution presents an excellent “insurance” measure against these risks.
Are there still some areas of security that companies may be overlooking?
I believe that passwords are an extremely weak link, and are overlooked by the majority of companies using them.
Not only do many people write down passwords or use words that are easy to guess, but people with bad intentions can easily crack them using software you can download for free from the Internet.
Do you have anything in the works for the future?
We expect to integrate our products with physical security in the near future. I also anticipate a number of wireless initiatives might dramatically impact the role and adoption of biometrics in mainstream society.
I fully expect that Saflink will look to integrate additional features and components including payroll processing, time and attendance, digital signature, time stamping, wireless application support, remote access enhancements, and a fully integrated solution encompassing both desktop and physical security management.
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