Earlier this year, it was announced that Precise had joined the Genetec Technology Partner Program, and the integration of YOUNiQ with Genetec™ Security Center was initiated. The integration enables organizations to securely and efficiently verify the identities of employees, customers, and other individuals, providing an additional layer of security and helping to promote convenient and secure access.
We’re delighted to interview François Brouillet, Product Line Manager, Genetec, and Mark Cornett, Senior Sales Director, Precise Biometrics, to hear their thoughts on industry trends for biometrics in the access market.
Thank you François and Mark for joining us today. As we all know, biometrics continues to be an exciting and vibrant market. The US market in particular is a large and mature market for the adoption of biometric solutions. What modalities do you feel are important now and in the future for the adoption of biometrics in tech?
François: Although other modalities have been in existence for some time, fingerprint has been the most popular up until now. This is probably due to product accessibility and reliability. However, more recently we’ve seen an increased demand for face as the preferred modality.
Mark: I agree that fingerprint and face are the dominant modalities today. It’s also true that fingerprint was set back during the pandemic and that face has become controversial in some sectors. So, going forward, I feel that palm shows much promise. Palm vein has been present in the healthcare market for many years and more recently, has expanded into retail payments with Amazon One. A new, lower cost form of palm recognition that utilizes both surface and subdermal patterns is coming to the market in 2024. I think it is likely that palm will catch on in the access control space because it occupies a sweet spot incorporating both touchless and privacy, overcoming the challenges seen with fingerprint and face.
Building on your thoughts, what are the current trends that you are seeing in the market for access management and how do you think these will evolve in the future?
François: Through the pandemic we saw the trend for frictionless access with minimal contact accelerate, plus demands for higher security and cost reduction to manage access card lifecycle. Biometrics has an important role in multi factor authentication. While finger had dominated the market, we are now seeing more solutions based on face to reduce time taken for enrolment – no touch means faster validation. As Mark says, customers still have concerns about privacy so other modalities might also be considered. In my opinion though, face shouldn’t be a bigger concern when properly managed. There is a lot of education to be done on what is actually captured and processed to reassure customers.
Mark: I fully agree with François. Additionally, I think that the increasing functionality and AI capabilities of IoT and edge computing devices, combined with cloud-computing, will make physical access better, more affordable and easier to implement. It’s also worth noting that multi-factor authentication (MFA) which is very much present in logical authentication, is quickly migrating into physical authentication. So, whether it’s for user registration or authentication, utilizing personable mobile devices (e.g. smartphone) in access control will also grow.
François, can you tell us what attracted Genetec to using Precise’s biometric solutions and technology for access management? And, what benefits are you seeing through your partnership with Precise both right now and for the future?
François: Genetec has a rich ecosystem so we get to work with amazing partners that have proven technologies. Ultimately we work with partners like Precise because we want to provide what is best for our customers in terms of usability, security, and performance.
Mark, can you tell us about the benefits that Precise has experienced through being part of the Genetec Security Center?
Mark: Well to start with, having an independent evaluation and assessment of the quality and functionality of our YOUNiQ access solution has been hugely valuable and of course, our joint marketing activities are also very helpful. I think the most important benefit however is having direct access to the Genetec sales and support organization, working jointly with Account Executive and Sales Engineering staff as biometric subject matter experts, and in support of their resale channel partners.
What sorts of challenges are organizations facing today that makes them interested in biometric solutions?
Mark: Security officers, along with access control and IT managers, are recognizing both increased threats to, and security requirements of, their organizations, along with the inherent vulnerabilities of traditional systems such as cards, pins and passwords. Healthcare is an interesting example as pharmacies, patient records and data-centers are all increasingly under threat to nefarious actors and inappropriate access. Biometric solutions enhance security as the identity credential is something you are versus something you have or know.
François: Organizations have to deal with challenges to make sure their operation is not affected by an external system, physical and cyber security, privacy, user consent, potential objections and maintenance of the systems. Although all those points need to be seriously considered, I agree with Mark that biometric solutions provide a higher assurance that access is granted to right individuals.
What is the business environment like in the US and what are your expectations for the market in 2024?
François: There are a lot of factors influencing the market. There are mixed signals that there might be a soft landing, or the crisis might just be delayed. However, the demand for higher security will most likely continue to grow.
Mark: Yes, I agree. Demand for security will continue to grow, both for logical and physical access, regardless of the economic cycle. Another major factor influencing this environment is the regulatory dynamic around privacy and data protection, as we are seeing GDPR-like regulatory initiatives being exported from the EU to North America.
Finally, what excites you about the industry and the opportunities that it brings for the future?
François: While for years there has been little innovation in Access Control, we’ve now seen that momentum switch. We are facing different challenges, different uses of the system with different threats so this opens up a lot of opportunity to provide better solutions for our customers.
Mark: Yes, as threats and attack vectors have become more complex, so has the development of relevant and effective solutions. My excitement stems from the increasingly pervasive use of biometrics as key elements of these solutions. Longer-term, I’m also excited about the emergence of continuous authentication for both logical and physical access, which should lead to passive (vs active) identity verification in our daily lives.
Genetec Inc. is an innovative technology company with a broad solutions portfolio that encompasses security, intelligence, and operations. The company’s flagship product, Genetec™ Security Center, is a physical security platform that unifies IP-based video surveillance, access control, automatic license plate recognition (ALPR), communications, and analytics. Genetec also develops cloud-based solutions and services designed to improve security and contribute new levels of operational intelligence for governments, enterprises, transport, and the communities in which we live. Founded in 1997, and headquartered in Montréal, Canada, Genetec serves its global customers via an extensive network of resellers, integrators, certified channel partners, and consultants in over 159 countries.
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