The issue of authentication has been a challenge for businesses for at least as long as computers have been an integral part of the workplace. Newer technologies, however, are beginning to provide much more secure means of authentication than the typical user name/password combination or the use of a dongle or special card. Text input, after all, can always be compromised and physical objects that a user must supply can be misappropriated or misused.
One of the most advanced forms of authentication relies instead on physical identification that is much more difficult to co-opt, such as elements associated with the user's physical body. Fingerprint scans are already in use in some industries. Now, the National Institute of Standards and Technology has announced that the accuracy levels of software that identifies individuals based on iris scans has greatly improved.
According to NIST, iris recognition programs already in use in almost a dozen different organizations produced positive results in terms of accuracy, though the study also noted that programs that were faster at scanning also tended to have lower rates of accuracy. The database of iris images used in the tests included more than 2 million individuals; this provided the programs with a formidable task in terms of matching a submitted scan to the correct user file. Success rates ranged between 90 and 99 percent depending on the exact algorithm used by each eye-scanning program.
For more information about using biometric authentication technologies in your small or medium sized business, you can work with an IT consulting firm with expertise in this area.